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R.B. Martin 

J.R. Caldwell and J.G. Barzdo 


Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in 
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 
6, rue du Maupas 
Case postale 78 
1000 Lausanne 9, Switzerland 

A publication of the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in 
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Lausanne, Switzerland. 

The publishers gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Commission 
of the European Communities in the preparation of this publication. 

© Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered 
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 1986 

The presentation of material in this document and the geographical 
designations employed do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever 
on the part of the CITES Secretariat concerning the legal status of any 

country, territory, or area, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers 
or boundaries. 


This publication consists of two reports prepared by consultants for the 
CITES Secretariat. The first, “Establishment of African Ivory Export Quotas 
and Associated Control Procedures", by Rowan B. Martin, relates to elephant 
populations, the ivory export quota system and relevant administrative 
procedures. The second, “The World Trade in Raw Ivory, 1983 and 1984" by 
John R. Caldwell and Jonathan Barzdo (of the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit 
of IUCN's Conservation Monitoring Centre), relates to the international ivory 
trade. These reports were distributed to a limited audience in draft form in 
April 1985. Following the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to 
CITES (Buenos Aires, 1985) the texts have been revised and amended, and also 
translated into French and Spanish. 

Although the opinions expressed in these reports are those of the authors and 
do not necessarily reflect the views of the CITES Secretariat, it has been 
acknowledged that the contents provide the necessary basis for the 
establishment of the procedures required for the full implementation of 
Resolution Conf. 5.12 on “Trade in Ivory From African Elephants”. The CITES 
Secretariat believes that these reports form a major contribution to the 
development of conservation programmes for the African elephant. 

The Secretariat wishes to thank the authors for their excellent work and the 
Commission of the European Communities for its financial support for the 
whole project, as well as for generous provision of translation services. In 
addition, the Government of Zimbabwe provided facilities and allowed 
R.B. Martin to undertake the work. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2010 with funding from 
UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge 



Report to the CITES Secretariat 


R.B. Martin 

1 March, 1985 
(Revised 1 August, 1985) 

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Contents List 


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Quota derived from individual countries . 
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Strategies to improve the situation... 
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APPENDICES (see next page for list) 



















Chad elephant population 

Congo elephant population 
Gabon elephant population 
Zaire elephant population 
Ethiopia elephant population 
Kenya elephant population 
Malawi elephant population 
Mozambique elephant population 
Zambia elephant population 
Zimbabwe elephant population 

CITES Resolution Conf. 5.12 
CITES Document Doc. 5.22.1 (Rev.) 

Demonstration quota for Zimbabwe - 1985 
Ivory Producers Export Cartel (IPEC) 

Legalised poaching 

















The objectives of the project were as follows: 

(i) To collect and collate the best available data and information 
relating to the status of the African elephant Loxodonta africana. 

(ii) To assist governments in establishing quotas for the export of raw 

(iii) To recommend procedures for the control and co-ordination of the 
export quota system. 

The project lasted from 15 November 1984 to 1 March 1985, during which 
period I visited Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, 
Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Gabon, Zaire 
and Congo (in that order). I had also hoped to visit Angola, Mozambique 
and Ivory Coast (being other major producers), but time did not permit 
this. Indeed, it was not possible to spend more than 3-5 days in those 
countries which I did visit. 

I met with the Chairman of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant and Rhino 
Specialist Group (Dr. David Western) in Nairobi to discuss the project, 
and obtained recent data on elephant populations from Tain 
Douglas-Hamilton. I familiarised myself with the population modelling work 
being carried out by Pilgram and Western, which has important applications 
for management of elephants. 

This report is the final requirement of the contract. 

NOTE: The final draft for publication was prepared after the 5th 
meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Buenos 
Aires (22 April-3 May 1985). As a result of resolutions passed 
and documents accepted at this meeting I have revised the final 
chapter on Administration to include a description of the 
control procedures agreed between the Party states, the reasons 
for these controls and the effects they may be expected to have 
on the trade in ivory. 



Estimates of elephant population numbers for ivory producing countries were 
assembled from several sources. The results of recent surveys were used where 
these were available, and official estimates from the wildlife authorities in 
certain countries were preferred if these were based on recent information. In 
some countries for which there were no data an estimate was arrived at based 
on rainfall and human densities, combined with local knowledge of the various 
parts of the country. Where no new information was available, the population 
estimates from the IUCN/SSC meeting held in Hwange, 1981, were used. 

All countries visited favoured the introduction of a quota system. It should 
exclude countries who have no elephant, lead to improved internal management 
in the ivory producing countries, and strengthen the authority of government 
wildlife agencies within their own countries. 

A method is given for estimating the expected ivory production from a country 
based on the areas where elephant occur, the populations in those areas, and 
the various causes of elephant mortality. From the total production of tusks 
an export quota can be estimated after adding surpluses from previous years 
and deducting the amounts which will be consumed by domestic carving 

It is emphasized that the setting of quotas should be regarded as a form of 
active, adaptive management. Whilst the estimates of quotas may be inaccurate 
in the first few years, they can be improved each year provided the necessary 
data acquisition systems are introduced at the outset. 

Various principles of harvesting elephant populations are discussed using 
computer models to predict outcomes. The maximum sustained yield of ivory 
would be that derived from the natural mortality in a stable population which 
has reached carrying capacity (Pilgram and Western, 1984). The practicality of 
allowing elephant ever to reach this stable state is questioned, and the 
effect of harvesting from fast growing populations below carrying capacity is 
examined. At a population level of one million animals, models indicate that a 
sustained harvest of about 750 tonnes can be obtained by culling breeding 
herds and managing for large males. 

Models were examined which demanded a constant harvest of ivory from 
populations, combined with selective hunting for the largest tusks. The 
maximum sustainable harvest from a million animals was about 400 tonnes per 
annum. Exceeding this resulted in rapid population declines. Modelling was 
used to simulate the current situation in the ivory trade given a value for 
mean tusk weight, the number of animals harvested per year, the annual harvest 
in tonnes, and a declining elephant population. The population status which 
satisfied all conditions was that of about 800 thousand animals declining at a 
rate of 1.8%. If the present harvest level were sustained the rate of decline 
of the population could be expected to increase rapidly in the near future. 

It is pointed out, however, that such modelling is of limited value: Africa's 
elephant population is not one large herd being subjected to a uniform 
harvesting treatment. There are many secure populations in National Parks, and 
this means that the harvest is coming from only a part of the continental 
population. The process in operation is a series of local extinctions, rather 
than a general decline of all elephant. 


Quotas were estimated for individual countries based on the approach that the 
offtake should not exceed 1-3% of populations depending on management policies 
and circumstances in the country concerned. This resulted in a crude estimate 
of a sustained yield of some 230 tonnes for Africa as a whole, of which 80 
tonnes would be consumed internally and 150 tonnes exported. An existing 
surplus of 185 tonnes at present in government stores could be added to this 
for the first year of the quota. The result is consistent with a 2% offtake 
calculated globally from a population of one million animals. It is also 
consistent with a model which tested the effects of various harvests on 
reducing the present trend. The present level of offtake from elephant 
populations combined with selection for the largest tusks cannot be considered 
optimal management. 

Administrative procedures necessary to make the quota system workable at an 
international level are discussed. This includes procedures for export, the 
marking of tusks, rules for worked ivory, the definition of re-export, 
referral of export permits, and provisions for small pieces of ivory. It is 
recommended that the export of confiscated ivory is kept separate from the 
rest of the quota, because it is difficult to estimate in the first place, and 
because it cannot justifiably be called the result of planned management 

Comments are made on the large variations in the price of ivory from one 
country to another in Africa, and the possibility of joint marketing among 
countries is advanced as an option to improve the situation. 

Internal administration is viewed as the major problem facing most countries. 
Emphasis should be placed on efficient anti-poaching measures, improved 
controls on raw ivory in private hands, enforcement of correct hunting 
procedures, and methods of selling ivory. The domestic carving industries in 
Many countries are major users of illegal ivory and strategies need to be 
found for governments to control this flow. 

Few countries have programmes for the rational utilisation of wildlife and the 
majority of government ivory comes from confiscations rather than planned 
offtakes. This is seen as a failure of conservation policies to take into 
account the realities of the situation outside protected areas. It is 
suggested that in certain instances governments should recognise the 
inevitability of illegal hunting, and seek ways to manage it rather than to 
ban it or to ignore it. 

Finally, the administrative systems in individual countries are discussed. 
This includes wildlife policies, staff establishments, and procedures for 

handling the ivory trade. Practices which are unique to certain countries are 
mentioned. 3 

Footnote: At the 5th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in 
Buenos Aires in April/May 1985 a Resolution was adopted which will bring the 
quota system into operation in January 1986. Several important administrative 
procedures will come into effect at the same time: 

1. An Ivory Unit will be established under the CITES Secretariat which will 
Maintain a data bank of all tusk numbers in the trade, monitor export 
quotas and assist with referral procedures. 


Both producer and non-producer countries will register all present stocks 
of ivory which may enter the international trade and submit the details to 
the Ivory Unit. This will allow separation of primary export statistics 
from re-exports in analysing the volume of the world ivory trade. 

A set of referral procedures will come into place whereby no importing 
country will clear an ivory shipment until the Management Authority in the 
exporting country has confirmed the validity of the export permit with the 
Management Authority of the importing country, either directly or via the 
CITES Secretariat. Copies of all export permits will also be sent to the 
Ivory Unit to enable them to monitor quotas and assist with referral 



I will begin by thanking the wildlife authorities in each of the countries I 
visited. In all of these countries I found dedicated, enthusiastic officers, 
and this bodes well for the future. There is a tendency for the outside world 
to regard the wildlife authorities in the ivory producing countries as part 
and parcel of the problems in the international ivory trade: I believe this is 
largely untrue. Most of the authorities are highly concerned about the decline 
in elephant numbers in their countries, and are anxious to halt illegal 
hunting. However, they have inadequate budgets, staff and equipment, and are 
frequently under extreme pressure from politicians and private citizens — 
pressures which western democratic countries would find difficult to 

As a civil servant of Zimbabwe, I know my own feelings towards the endless 
stream of consultants who use my valuable time and pick my brains for 
information for their reports, the worth of which I question. I have now found 
myself in the role of a consultant, and I am surprised that the following 
people gave so freely of their time to make my mission possible. 

BOTSWANA: Mushanana L. Nchunga (Director), G.T. Masina (Chief Warden) 

ZAMBIA: Star M. Yamba (Director), Dr. H.N. Chebwela (Deputy-Director), 
A.N. Mwenya (Chief Warden), George Mubanga (Sen.Wl.Res.Off.). 

MALAWI: Moses Kumpumula (Chief Parks and Wildlife Officer), 
Henri Nsanjama (Principal Parks and Wildlife Officer), 
Dr. R.H.V. Bell (Sen.Parks and Wildlife Officer [Research]). 

TANZANIA: Fred Lwezaula (Director), J.A. Kayera (Deputy-Director), 
Muchungusi Katalihwa (G.O.), Mr. Merinyo (Chief Admin. Officer), 
Karim Hirji (Director-General of Serengeti Wildlife Institute), 
Mr. Ndalango (Director TAWICO), Mr. Kente (Regional Game 
Officer), Bokari Mbano (Principal, Mweka College). 

KENYA: J.P. Oriero (Director Conservation). 

SOMALIA: Dr. Abdillahi Ahmed Karani (Gen. Manager National Range Agency), 
Yousuf Mohammed Ahmed Harare (Director Wildlife). 

ETHIOPIA: Abdu Mahamued (OIC Wildlife Utilisation and Anti-Poaching). 

SUDAN: Dr. El Rayah Omer Hasaballa (Director Wildlife Conservation and 

National Parks Forces). 

CHAD: Ali Djalbord Diard (ministre du Tourisme, des eaux et foréts), 
Daboulaya Ban-Ymari (directeur des Eaux, foréts et chasses), 
Naipadja (chef Div. faune), Djimet Moudzima, Todjimbaye 
Nahodjim, Daniel Djelardje. 

C.A.R. Raymond Mbitikon (haute commissaire), Nicaise Ngoupandé 
(directeur des Chasses), Gustave Dogoumbé (directeur technique 
CNPAF), Raymond Damango (directeur-général CNPAF), 
Jean-Paul Tomassey (conseiller). 


CAMEROON: Dr. Abdoulaye Souaibou (délégue général au Tourisme), David Momo 
(directeur de la Faune et parcs nationaux), Djoh a Ndiang Issa 
(chef du Service des chasses). 

GABON: Raphaél Dipouma (directeur des Eaux, foréts et chasses), 
Henri-Max Boudiala (chef du Service des chasses). 

ZAIRE: Mankoto ma Mbaelele (directeur IZCN, conseiller au Cabinet de 
commissaire d'Etat), Muembo Kabemba (directeur scientifique et 
techniques du Service de la chasse), Dr. Bihini won wa Musiti 
(chef du Service de la chasse). 

CONGO: Francois Ntsiba (sec. général aux Eaux et foréts), Rigobert 
Ebonzo, Opouya Joseph, M'beri-Mbabou Emmanuel. 

If I may single out particular countries without giving offence to others, I 
would like to thank particularly the officials of Chad and Zaire with whom I 
felt a special rapport during the course of our work. George Mubanga (Zambia), 
Bokari Mbano (Tanzania), and Abdu Mahamued (Ethiopia) gave me a large amount 
of their time and helped to make my stay in their countries very pleasant. 

The following non-governmental staff assisted me during the course of ny 
travels in various countries: In Kenya, from the African Elephant and Rhino 
Specialist Group, Dr. David Western gave me sound counsel on the project, Tom 
Pilgram spent considerable time with me discussing management strategies, and 
Iain Douglas-Hamilton provided data on status and trends of elephant 
populations. Mike Norton-Griffiths gave me an excellent insight into the 
processes at work in the rural areas of Kenya and Tony Archer assisted me with 
more than travel arrangements. Dr. Murray Watson gave me data and background 
information in Somalia, and Martin Butterworth and Trevor Wilson of ILCA made 
my stay in Addis Ababa very pleasant. Gaafar Elias Basaid in Sudan explained 
to me many intricacies of the ivory trade and Richard Carroll of Yale 
University very kindly interpreted throughout my meetings in the Central 
African Republic. David Lloyd and G. von Wild of Uele Safaris in Zaire were 
extremely good to me, both in providing information and hospitality. Brigitte 
Manet interpreted for me in Gabon and Ernest Fausther of UNDP Congo gave a 
large amount of his time in interpreting and attending to my other problems. 

I thank the UNDP/UNEP offices which assisted me with the logistical problems 
of travelling to so many countries in such a short time. In particular I would 
like to thank Robin Kinloch, the Resident Representative for Zaire, who took a 
close interest in my work, was extremely hospitable and solved several minor 
crises for me. In the Congo, the acting Resident Representative, Michael 
Askwith, gave me a similar reception and his staff were very helpful. 

Jaques Berney and Chris Huxley of the CITES Secretariat have done a great deal 
to make this project a success, and I thank them for their efficient handling 
of all matters. 

I am grateful to the Director of the Department of National Parks and Wild 
Life Management in Zimbabwe, Dr. Graham Child, for allowing me to undertake 
this consultancy and for valuable advice relating to it. I thank also ny 
fellow staff members John White and Graham Nott for the large amount of time 
they have spent familiarising me with the internal administration of the ivory 


trade in Zimbabwe. It became very clear to me during the course of my travels 
that nowhere else in Africa is there such an efficient system of controls. 
Jonas Chifota in our computer section assisted me by checking calculations, 
and our librarian, Maggie Taylor, provided an extremely rapid service on all 
required literature. 

Finally, my very special thanks to the following people. 

Jean-Marc Froment of FAO travelled from Senegal to Bangui to meet me and give 
me his findings in a significant study of the ivory trade in C.A.R. This work 
was invaluable to me and quite beyond the scope of anything I could have 
achieved in my short visit. As a result, I was able to use my time in C.A.R. 
to address the important conservation issues armed with sound information. 
Apart from the report, the close contact with him for four days in Bangui gave 
Me an understanding of the systems operating in Francophone countries which 
was of value for the remainder of my trip. 

Richard Bell of Malawi has assisted me with analysis of data, in-depth 
discussion of management issues, correspondence on practical administrative 
matters, and an extremely detailed and valuable criticism of the final draft 
of this report. The concept of “legalised poaching" advocated in this report 
was first recommended to me by him. I thank both Richard and his wife Kathy 
for their hospitality and stimulating company. 

Ian and Chris Parker were extremely kind to me during a long stay in Kenya, 
and must have been extremely pleased when I finally left for Somalia. I value 
very highly Ian's pragmatic advice on all issues relating to the ivory trade, 
and regard him as a major philosopher. At times he leaves me totally 
frustrated when he picks the holes in my “wishful” proposals to improve the 
conservation scene in Africa, but I have learnt that his advice is not be be 
ignored. I thank both Parkers for their wisdom and hospitality. 

I thank David Cumming, my boss and colleague, for his part in this report. My 
acceptance of this consultancy affected his own long-standing plans for 
personal leave, but he allowed it nevertheless. The rapid workshop techniques 
which I used to advantage in several parts of this mission have evolved 
through his leadership in our Branch of Terrestrial Ecology. The practical 
aspects of managing elephants populations have been tried and tested in 
Zimbabwe under his direction and planning. He has criticised and suggested 

improvements to this report, and been available for discussion throughout the 
project. I am very grateful. 

Lastly, my very special thanks to my wife Elizabeth who has effectively been a 
widow during the course of this consultancy, but has still kept everything 
working in my absence. She has helped criticise the final draft of the report, 

provided sage advice and encouragement, and generally made the whole mission 




The elephant population estimates for Africa (Table 1) have been compiled from 
Cumming & Jackson (1981), Douglas-Hamilton (1984), official estimates from the 
wildlife authorities in the countries visited, and certain new estimates which 
I have made in collaboration with the technical staff of the countries 
concerned. At the recent meeting of the Technical Committee of CITES in 
Brussels (1984), it was agreed that the estimates derived at the IUCN/SSC 
meeting at Hwange in 1981 would serve as the official data until better 
estimates were available. In preparing the figures I have accepted the 
IUCN/SSC estimate in each case unless there have been sound reasons for 
revising it. In some countries the authorities felt fairly strongly that their 
official estimates should have preference over any others, and in these cases 
I have accepted their views. 

In Table 1 all the above estimates are shown for comparative purposes. 
Douglas-Hamilton has prepared both a low and a high estimate for each country 
and both are included. Where confidence intervals exist for certain countries, 
these are given in the text. I have rounded off all estimates to the nearest 
hundred animals: there are few cases where a higher precision is justified. 
Each country is now discussed individually and the reasons for selecting a 
particular estimate are given. 

The summary table from the IUCN/SSC Hwange meeting is referred to as WM, and 
Douglas-Hamilton (op. cit.) is referred to as IDH in the following text. 
Unfortunately, there are no formal references given in the latter work, and in 
the master table I have had to judge from the proportions of each estimate 
arising under “aerial surveys", “ground and dung counts", and “informed 
guesses” whether new information has come to hand since the Hwange meeting. 



Benin 2 085 203) 19250 2 300 
Ghana 2 599 2 599 970 1 000 
Guinea 615 615 800 800 
Ivory Coast 4 840 5 456 4 800 4 840 4 800 
Liberia 763 763 2 000 800 
Mali 616 617 780 700 
Mauritania 0 0) 40 0 
Niger 745 745 800 800 
Nigeria 1373) 1 579 1 820 1 500 
Senegal 67 80 370 100 
Sierra Leone 260 260 500 500 
Togo 100 100 150 100 
Burkina Faso 3 865 4 503 3 500 3 500 

TOTAL 16 900 


C.A.R. 6 815 10 850 31 000 19 500 19 500 
Cameroon 12 056 29773 5 000 12 400 
Chad 16 453 31 900 2.500 2 500 
Congo 2 765 4 506 10 800 12 500 59 000 59 000 
Equat. Guinea 1 800 1 800 1 800 
Gabon 12 014 24 028 13 400 14 000 48 000 48 000 
Zaire 116 472 248 564 376 000 100 000 523 000 523 000 

TOTAL 666 200 


Ethiopia 6 041 7 249 9 000 9 000 
Kenya 52 330 61 196 65 056 27 956 28 000 
Rwanda 72 77 150 100 
Somalia 5 576 10 944 24 323 15 000 8 600 8 600 
Sudan 26 616 37 939 133 772 32 300 
Tanzania 196 418 235 438 203 900 216 000 
Uganda 1 790 2 107 2 320 2 000 

TOTAL 296 000 


Angola 1 922 3 980 12 400 12 400 
Botswana 41 226 49 471 20 000 45 300 
Malawi 2 358 2 358 4 500 2 350 2 400 
Mozambique 48 620 48 620 54 800 27 350 27 400 
Namibia 33 533 40 239 2 300 2 000 2 000 
South Africa 7 961 9 483 8 000 8 273 8 300 
Zambia 91 142 107 212 160 000 58 000 58 000 
Zimbabwe 54 576 64 891 49 000 47 000 47 000 

TOTAL 202 800 



Benin: IDH figures suggest new aerial survey data have been acquired since 
1981, and I have therefore taken the mean of his high and low 

Ghana: IDH estimate is derived largely from an arbitrary density of 
0.15/sq km applied to the entire range. I have chosen the WM figure. 

Guinea: IDH estimate is based on an arbitrary density of 0.05/sq km I have 
chose the WM figure. 

Ivory Coast: New data are available from Roth et al. (1984), and this is the 
same figure as the lower estimate in IDH. 

Liberia: IDH mentions new information from Peal in text, and I have accepted 
his figure. In recent conversations with Peace Corps volunteers from 
Liberia, I gained the impression that little is known about numbers. 

Mali: IDH mentions a survey by Robert Olivier, and further information from 
Olivier and van Wijngaarden. I have used the new figure. 

Mauritania: I have assumed this population has gone extinct since 1981. In 
any case, the number is zero when rounded. 

Niger: IDH estimate appears to be based on new information from John Newby, 
and is virtually identical to the WM estimate. 

Nigeria: IDH estimate appears to be based on new survey date since 1981 and I 
have taken the mean of the upper and lower estimates. 

Senegal: IDH estimate is considerably lower than WM and appears to be based on 
new aerial survey data. At the CIC meeting in Dakar on 19 April 1985 
Senegal wildlife authorities estimated the number at about 3015 

Sierre Leone: I have retained the WM estimated as there is no evidence of new 
survey data in IDH. 

Togo: IDH has new information from Government authorities in Togo, and I 
have used his estimate. 

Burkina Faso: I have accepted the WM estimate here as it is difficult to see 
how the survey data from Bousquet which IDH mentions have been 
incorporated into the IDH estimate. Bousquet advises that illegal 
hunting is at a high level and it is probably safer to use the lower 


Central African Republic: A recent report by Froment (1985) gives the 



population at 19 500 + 8 600. Both Froment (op.cit.) and Ruggiero 
(1984) describe extensive over-exploitation of the elephant in 
C.A.R., and Government authorities confirm this. The estimate 
probably requires the wide confidence intervals given by Froment, and 
the numbers will continue to decline in the near future. [Note: 
recent surveys by Douglas-Hamilton in July 1985 indicate that the 
numbers are under 10 000]. 

The IDH estimate is based on a questionnaire response by Victor 
Sunday Belingo, and information from Allo, Ngog Nie, and Woodford 
(reference not given). The largest part of the estimate arises from 
applying a density of 0.04/sq km to an area of 277 225 sq kn, and 
this density is used in both the low and high estimates. The aerial 
survey density given for an area of 1700 sq km is 0.29, and a density 
of 0.23 is used under “informed guesses", The Chief of the Hunting 
Service, Djoh a Ndiang Issa, advises that in many cases the elephant 
densities are similar both inside and outside the protected areas. If 
this is so, and, if, as reported, the illegal hunting is not 
particularly severe, it is possible that the Cameroon population is 
considerably higher than the IDH estimate which I have used. 

Prior to my arrival in Chad the authorities sent out word to all 
provinces asking for estimates of elephant numbers from their staff. 
These estimates are given in Appendix 1, and the total lies between 
2020 - 2885. This is extremely low, and instinctively I would be 
inclined to increase any estimates based on ground counts. However, I 
have not done so for the following reasons: 

a) The technical staff of the Ministére du tourisme et des eaux, 
foréts, chasses argue strongly for the estimates as given. 

b) There is no doubt that there has been a catastrophic reduction 
of elephants in Chad since the outbreak of war in 1979. The 
situation is reminiscent of Uganda in the mid-1970s. I was given 
eye-witness accounts of complete herds being eliminated using 
helicopters and anti-aircraft guns mounted on vehicles. 

ic) There may, in fact, be good reason to accept the ground 
observations of the official staff. The terrain varies from 
Sahel to Sudanese savannah and elephant are extremely 
conspicious. The villagers take a close interest in the herds 
and are able to report fairly accurately the numbers in their 
vicinity. I had first-hand experience of this in an area south 
of N'Djamena where a large herd of elephant had appeared since 
the war. We travelled from village to village trying to locate 
the animals and received precise reports of their numbers and 
last sightings from each settlement. This was backed up by 
evidence of spoor and droppings. I got the impression that the 
elephant were in very little danger from the villagers: the 
excitement caused by their presence in the area was obvious, and 
it appeared that people were not anxious to see a return to the 
hunting situation during the war. 


d) Elephants were also reported at Lake Chad and in the desert east 
of the lake while I was in N'Djamena, and the staff of the 
wildlife department thought that many herds were returning from 
Nigeria, Cameroon, C.A.R. and Sudan following the disturbance of 
the war. The drought conditions in the Sahel zone are giving 
rise to extensive movements of herds within the very large home 
ranges characteristic of this area, which overlap into adjacent 
countries. There is a general southward trend of both humans and 
elephants, and it is to be expected that elephant carrying 
capacity will be lowered without any hunting pressures. 

The IDH lower and upper estimates for the Congo are largely derived 
by applying the same density (0.02/sq km) to areas of 74 185 sq km 
and 159 385 sq km respectively, giving 2 700 - 4 500 elephants. The 
WM estimate is 10 800, and the officials in the country feel the 
number lies between 10 - 15 000. I have gone out on a limb with an 
estimate of 59 000 which is derived in Appendix 2, using the method 
described for Zaire. 

Equatorial Guinea: I have accepted the IDH estimate here, but note that there 



is no difference between the high and low estimte and it is 
arbitrarily based on a density of 0.09/sq km 

The IDH low estimate, 12 014, is obtained by applying a density of 
0.09/sq km to a range of 133 490 sq km, and the high estimate, 
24 028, arises by increasing this range to 266 979 sq km. The WM 
estimate, 13 400, and the official estimate, 14 000, both lie within 
the range of IDH. I have calculated a population of 48 000 (Appendix 
3) using the method described for Zaire. 

This country is the large unknown factor in Africa, and there appears 
to be an “open season" on making estimates for the total number of 
elephant it contains. At the Hwange Meeting, figures varying from one 
hundred thousand to two million were bandied about but I cannot 
recall the authorities for any of the estimates. While I was in 
Zaire, we held a 6 hour workshop to estimate elephant numbers using a 
hybrid technique based on Parker (1984), and the best available local 
knowledge of some eight technical staff of the IZCN (Institut zairois 
pour la conservation de la nature), most of whom came from different 
provinces in the country. 

The estimate is very high, and I will be the first to admit the 
arbitrary nature of some of the multiplication factors used in the 
calculations. However, it does have the advantage that the estimate 
is built up from a starting basis of the individual provinces in the 
country and avoids applying a “blanket density” to the country as a 
whole. Within the ranking systems, provision exists for adjusting 
estimates upwards or downwards depending on first-hand knowledge of 
local conditions in each province. Full details of the method used 
are given in Appendix 4, and the same technique has been used for the 
Congo and Gabon. 

The technique is an adaptive method to provide information required 
by administrators in a hurry. We are all aware that a full survey of 
the number of elephant in Zaire would cost a lot of money and require 
years to complete. The conservation priorities in Zaire do not 
necessarily justify such a survey. A knowledge of elephant numbers 
might be better arrived at over a period of years using an “active, 
adaptive” method (Holling, 1978) which involves embarking on positive 
Management schemes, making estimates of ivory production, and 
monitoring the outcome of such actions. 


Ethiopia: I have used the official estimates given to me by the wildlife 





authorities in Ethiopia (Appendix 5). WM has no estimate for 
Ethiopia, and IDH's estimate is based on an indirect index for about 
one quarter of the area, and an arbitrary density applied to the 
remainder of the range. 

I was informed by the authorities in Kenya that they regard the 
survey data from the Kenya Rangeland Ecological Monitoring Unit 
(KREMU) as the only official estimate. Therefore I have taken the 
most recent information (1983 surveys) from Stelfox et al. (1984) to 
derive a figure for the country as a whole. I have extrapolated from 
previous years to fill in the values for areas not surveyed in 1983 
(Appendix 6). : 

I have used the IDH figure here, rounded up to 100. 

I was fortunate to obtain recent data from Dr. Murray Watson in 
Mogadishu which formed part of a consultant's report he was preparing 
for the Somalia Government. The estimates given were supported by the 
Government authorities. 

Two figures based on aerial surveys in the wet and dry seasons are 
given: Nov/Dec 1983 - 12 773, and March 1984.- 4 476. I have used the 
mean of these (8 600) as the estimate. 

Watson states that many elephant appear to leave Somalia in the dry 
season for Kenya, although to some extent the differences between the 
figures may reflect a change in the animals’ preferred habitat within 
Somalia in the wet and dry seasons. Elephant are confined to 
clay/sand mosaics, coastal limestones overlain by deep mixed soil, 
the deep clays between the Jubba and Shabeelle, the eastern section 
of the occasionally flooded heavy clay, and frequently flooded 
uncropped heavy alluviums of the lower Shabeelle and Jubba valleys. 

Watson feels, however, that the distribution of elephant in relation 
to habitats may have been modified by severe disturbances, so that 
their present distribution is not entirely due to ecological factors. 
He feels the elephant are in the process of being eliminated. The 
remaining herds occur in large nervous groups typical of a heavily 
poached population. No males bearing large tusks were seen. From an 
analysis of carcases, Watson estimates that between 1979 and 1982 
about twice as many elephant died as now survive in Somalia. The 
clumping of carcases suggests the elephant were killed by well-armed 
commercial poachers in the same fashion as occurred in Kenya and 

i have used the mean of IDH's upper and lower estimates. In view of 
recent heavy hunting (Merz, 1984) the WM figure is probably out of 
date. Watson et al. (1976) estimated some 134 000 elephants in the 
Southern Sudan and Dr. El Rayah Hasaballa (pers. comm.) feels that 
the total number might have been even greater. However, aerial 
surveys in the Shambe area of Southern Sudan by Hillman, Snyder, Tear 
and Somerlatte in 1981 showed significant downward trends. It is 
quite likely that even the IDH figure no longer applies. 







The mean of IDH's lower and upper estimates has been used. It is 
important to note that the majority of Tanzania's elephant are 

contained in the Selous Game Reserve (some 86 000 - Borner, 1981), 
Ruaha National Park and Rungwa Kizigo Game Reserve (15 000 and 20 000 
respectively - Borner and Severre, 1983). Douglas-Hamilton (19842) 

examines the trends in the Selous, and Douglas-Hamilton (1983) 
discusses the general status of elephant in Tanzania. 

The mean of IDH's lower and upper estimates has been used. IDH states 
that there has been no new information from Uganda since the 1982 


IDH indicates that there are no new data from Angola because of the 
war. For this reason, and because even 12 400 elephant is a very low 
number for a country the size of Angola, I have selected the WM 

IDH mentions recent aerial survey information from Melton, Moroko 
and Work, and I have used the mean of the lower and upper figures. 

The value used is an estimate provided by Dr. R.H.V. Bell (Senior 
Parks and Wildlife Officer). A breakdown of the populations in Malawi 
is given in Appendix 7. 

Mozambique: A recent estimate from José Tello has been used. This information 


was obtained from Douglas-Hamilton, but has not yet been incorporated 
into his master tables. The breakdown into component areas is given 
in Appendix 8. 

I have used the figures given by Joubert and Mostert (1975). IDH's 
figures are clearly a computer error. Hall-Martin (pers. comn. ) 
advises that there are no significant changes in the numbers today. 
The breakdown is approximately as follows: 

Kaokoland 200 

Etosha NP 1200 

W. Damaraland 100 (100-150) 

Remainder 500 (including Caprivi Strip) 
Total 2000 (approximately) 

South Africa: The figure used is the result of the latest census in 1984 


(Hall-Martin, pers. comm.). This is a total count and there are no 
upper and lower confidence limits. 

The figures used were given to me by George Mubanga (National Parks 
and Wildlife Service) and are listed for each area in Appendix oF 
There has been a significant decline since 1981. [A survey by Gilson 
Kaweche and Dale Lewis in January 1985 shows the total population of 
the Luangwa Valley, including GMAs, to be of the order of 25 000 
animals: this is some 10 000 lower than the estimate in this report] 

Zimbabwe: The estimate from Dr. D.H.M. Cumming (Chief Ecologist) amounts to 

47 000 + 3000 animals. Some 7000 will be culled in 1985 as part of a 
long term programme to reduce the population to about 33 000 animals. 
A breakdown of the populations inside the country is given in 
Appendix 10. 


Since the IUCN/SSC meeting in 1981 some major changes in the status of 
elephant have occurred in certain countries. In some there have been massive 
reductions in populations reminiscent of events in Uganda in the mid-1970s. 
Chad, the Central African Republic, and the Sudan are in this category. The 
statistics from the ivory trade (Caldwell, 1984) and the small size of tusks 
being exported and used in domestic carving industries support the contention 
that the populations in these countries have been greatly reduced. They are no 
longer major ivory exporting nations. 

Illegal hunting is extremely high in most of the Francophone countries which I 
visited, with the possible exception of Cameroon. The officials report that 
elephant are being reduced at a rate far greater than would be expected simply 
from range shrinkage in the face of human population increase. Zaire, the 
Congo and Gabon are in this category. 

In Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia and Zambia illegal hunting 
almost certainly exceeds the sustained yield of the populations. I am not sure 
whether this is true of Tanzania: there is no good evidence to confirm the 
point. A population of 200 000 animals in this country could easily support an 
annual offtake of about 3% (6000 animals) distributed over the age pyramid, 
and if the tusks exported were of an average weight of 5 kg, then some 60 
tonnes could be expected to enter the international trade annually (less a 
certain amount for the domestic carving industries). Tanzania's official 
exports are on average less than 10 tonnes annually (Caldwell, op. cit.). 
There is nevertheless a large amount of illegal hunting in the country which 
the authorities are anxious to contain. ; 

In Botswana populations appear to be increasing, and in Malawi, South Africa 
and Zimbabwe elephant numbers are determined largely by management policies. 

Despite the fact that populations are declining in most of the African 
countries I visited, even in the worst affected countries elephant are not 
likely to become extinct in the next few years. The tragedy in certain 
countries is that the resource is being totally mismanaged, whether the 
objectives are ivory production, meat production, or tourism. Several of the 
countries which I visited have relatively low human populations, and have the 
potential to manage their elephant for a high economic yield through safari 
hunting or cropping (e.g. C.A.R., Congo, Gabon and Zaire). This will be 
discussed further in the report. 

Parker (pers. comm.) has criticised the first draft of this report for its 
failure to examine the elephant population estimates in relation to the known 
volume of ivory which has entered the ivory trade in recent years. To rectify 
this I have examined very briefly the implications of elephant deaths from 
ivory trade figures between 1976 and 1984. 

Year Ele phant Source 


1976 68 128 *Parker (1979 p.68): 932 tonnes. 

1977 56 140 *Parker (1979 p.68): 768 tonnes. 

1978 51 681 *Parker (1979 p.68): 707 tonnes. 

1979 32 982 Caldwell (1984) Hong Kong and Japan only. 
1980 56 335 Caldwell (1984) Hong Kong and Japan only. 
1981 52 240 Caldwell (1984) Hong Kong and Japan only. 
1982 55 213 Caldwell (1984) Hong Kong and Japan only. 
1983 47 076 Caldwell (1985) : 644 tonnes. 

1984 26 059 Caldwell (1985) : 356.5 tonnes. 

TOTAL 403 395 

* - the number of animals has been derived from the tonnage by 
assuming a mean tusk weight of 7.2 kg (Caldwell 1985) and 
1.9 tusks per elephant. 

I am well aware that these data my have omissions, but have used them simply 
as a starting point to test whether the order of magnitude of elephant 
population estimates for Africa as a whole could possibly support such a 
offtake. The lower level of population estimates are about 1.2 - 1.3 million 
animals, and so I have examined what this implies for elephant populations 
capable of growth rates of 3, 4 and 54 in the absence of hunting. 

Initial Potential Net Final 

Estimate Rate of Growth Rate of Growth number 

1 200 000 5% 0.98% 1 305 395 
1 300 000 5% Lo SWZ 1 460 528 
1 200 000 4% -0.22% 1 176 045 
1 300 000 4% 0.16% 1 318 377 
1 200 000 3% -1.32% 1 056 927 
1 300 000 3% 0.96% 1 187 404 

The results suggest that the order of magnitude of the population estimates 
are totally compatible with the ivory offtakes. The modelling tends to rule 
out estimates greater than 1.3 million because the population capable of 
growing at as low a rate as 3% per annum would be increasing under the 
harvesting regime, which does not appear to be happening. The lower limit is 
about 800 000 animals coupled with a 5% growth rate which produces a net 
apparent decline of -1.6% per annum. 

There is a need for better inventory data on the elephant populations of 
Africa. At one time I was convinced that this was an essential prerequisite 
to any sound management programme. Now I am less certain. It seems to me that 
census work should not become an all-consuming task, and that there are 
higher priorities for allocation of resources. The present state of knowledge 
of elephants in Africa can be summarised as follows: 

a) Most countries in Africa have significant elephant populations which 
are in no immediate danger of extinction. 

b) Elephant numbers appear to be declining faster than is required to 
provide land for expanding human populations, taking into account the 
rate of human increase on the continent. 

c) The causes of the decline are not simply a high trade value of ivory, 
or an expanding human population, or the irrational greed of 
“poachers”. There are fundamental socio-economic problems regarding the 
ownership of the resource, disparate values of ivory in different 
countries, and major administrative shortcomings which all contribute 
to the problem. Internal improvements in these last three aspects are 
needed to bring the situation under control. 

There is little point in spending large sums of money solely to chronicle the 
steady reduction in numbers. A knowledge of the decline will do little to 
prevent that decline. Worse still is the attitude that only after an accurate 
survey of numbers has been done, will it be possible to consider the next 
steps in management - an attitude which I encountered in more than one 
country. Perhaps accurate estimates of numbers are only required in those 
countries with problems of vegetation damage caused by over-populations of 
elephant and in which reductions are planned. 

After travelling through a number of countries, I am left with the feeling 
that in some of these we should relegate census work to a lower priority, and 
begin considering adaptive management strategies. These may ultimately provide 
better estimates of the number of animals as a secondary “spin-off” of 
positive, well-designed programmes to bring elephant utilisation under the 
firm control of wildlife authorities in their respective countries. 



The following is quoted from the initial proposal by the CITES Secretariat for 
this consultancy: 

“Control of the ivory trade has been the subject of considerable 
discussion for many years, both within CITES and in other circles, and it 
is widely felt that current controls are inadequate and that there needs 

to be substantial improvement in the effectiveness of CITES procedures in 
this respect. 

At the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties (New Delhi, India, 
1981) a Resolution (Conf. 3.12) was adopted calling for certain measures 
to be taken with respect to ivory trade controls, including the individual 
marking of tusks. These measures have been only partially implemented thus 
far and, although successful to some extent, they have not brought about 
the desired degree of control. 

At the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (Gaborone, 
Botswana, 1983) the topic was again the subject of much argument, and in 
view of the complexity and scope of the issue it was agreed that the CITES 
Technical Committee would devote a large proportion of its first meeting 
to formulating proposals to improve the situation.” 

At the FAO Working Party on Wildlife Management and National Parks held in 
Arusha, Tanzania, in September 1983, 24 African states passed a resolution 
calling for the proper control of the trade in African ivory and calling upon 
producer countries to have an annual export quota for ivory. 

A similar resolution was adopted at the CITES Technical Committee meeting in 
Brussels in June 1984. A draft Resolution of the Conference of the Parties was 
submitted to the CITES Secretariat in November 1984 and was subsequently 
accepted with revisions at the meeting held in Buenos Aires in April 1985 
(Appendix 11). This Resolution calls for the introduction of a system of 
export quotas based on a number tusks for each ivory producing country, which 
will limit the quantity of legal ivory available to consumer countries. 

The CITES Secretariat views the success of the new measures as depending on 
three major factors. Firstly, the quotas set by each African country must be 
realistic and must be based on the best available information on elephant 
population numbers and their anticipated utilisation. Secondly, there must be 
well defined control procedures centred on the CITES Secretariat. Finally, the 
co-operation of all major consumer countries must be assured in recognising 
the new system. 



In all countries which I visited the first question I asked was “Do you really 
want this system?". This generally led to a discussion about the pros and cons 
of the quota system. The chief advantage that emerges by almost universal 
consensus is that countries who have no elephant will have no export quota, 
and this should lead to the desirable situation where each state exports only 
ivory originating in its own country. Conservation issues aside, this would be 
a major improvement in the current situation. 

The second advantage of the quota system lies in its implications for internal 
Management in each ivory producing country. It should encourage the 
authorities to look critically at the process by which ivory finds its way 
from the elephant in the bush to the export market, and to adjust policy 
decisions in light of their findings. Over a period of years this could lead 
to improved management of the resource through a process of annual revision. 
Quotas would be set at the start of the year, results evaluated at the end of 
the year and estimates revised for the following year. At each stage the 
technical authorities have the opportunity to design adaptive management 
programmes that will improve their knowledge at the end of the year. 

A third advantage is one that was not obvious to me at the start of the 
project, but became clearer as I visited more countries. Many government 
agencies favour the application of a quota system in order to strengthen their 
own internal position with regard to the ivory trade. At present most wildlife 
departments are not particularly powerful within their government hierarchies, 
and frequently find themselves forced to acquiesce to demands for export 
permits whether they like it or not. However, when the matter becomes one of 
international concern their position is quite different and they can 
confidently point to the regulations binding CITES Party states. 

A possible disadvantage of the system is that it may lead to unwarranted 
interference from some non-producing countries and certain conservation 
lobbies when the quotas are finally tabled and circulated. Value judgements 
may be made as to the size of the quota, and this may end up being a source of 
harassment for the producer country. In this regard, almost every country I 
visited expressed the strong view that they would not be prepared to tolerate 
undue infringement of their sovereign rights in the matter. 

A weakness in the system is the expectation that by setting a quota, the 
number of elephant killed in the country concerned will automatically be 
adjusted to that quota. This wishful thinking exists both among producer and 
non-producer countries. It is possible that over a period of time it will 
become more difficult for illegal ivory to enter the international trade 
because of the quota system, but it is doubtful whether the quota system per 
se will do anything to prevent illegal hunting. In many countries almost all 
the illegally hunted ivory enters the domestic carving trade and no export 
quota system addresses the problem. In others, the wildlife authorities tend 
to concern themselves solely with the resource inside gazetted protected areas 
and regard their role as one of controlling international safari hunting. 
Ivory which originates from unprotected areas in the country is not 
registered, marked or recorded by the authorities, either in the area where it 
originates or when it reaches a main centre. Whilst the authorities may find 
themselves obliged to issue an export permit for such ivory, the trade 
basically remains in private hands from the point of origin of the tusks to 


the point of export. This is a key issue and can only be addressed through 
internal administration. The quota system may even be counterproductive in 
such countries: when private dealers approach the authorities for an export 
permit and are told that this is not possible because their shipment has not 
been catered for under the established quota, their reaction may be to resort 
to illegal export, or to stockpile until their ivory can be legalised. 

Despite these reservations, I found all countries strongly in favour of the 
system. In their view the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. 

There was some confusion about the interpretation of the word “quota”. A few 
authorities were worried that, having set a quota, they would be obliged to 
export the full amount stated. This introduces an important point. The word 
“quota” is not appropriate in the sense in which it is employed in this 
context. From the producer countries point of view, what is intended is an 
estimate of ivory which will enter the international trade in any given year, 
and any connotation suggesting satisfying the consumer market should be 
avoided. The essence of the system is that it is a mechanism through which 
producer countries can call into play on their own behalf the policing and 
control facilities of other member states of CITES to assist them in their own 
objectives of controlling exports. 

In the proposal for this consultancy, the CITES Secretariat talks of limiting 
the quantity of legitimate ivory available to consumer countries. Care must be 
taken that the quota system does not become a two-edged sword: if consumer 
countries demand that quotas are fulfilled the system will tbe 
counterproductive for conservation, 

There was also confusion about who would set the quota, and in some countries 
the authorities thought that this would be done by CITES. Here too the word 
quota is inappropriate because it carries a suggestion that CITES has the 
power to limit quotas for individual producer countries. This is not so — the 
prerogative rests entirely with the authorities of the country concerned. In 
some countries I was left with the impression that they would have been 
happier for an outsider to set the quota: perhaps because they felt this would 
relieve them of the pressures that will undoubtedly fall on their shoulders 
when their quotas donot coincide with the desires of ivory exporters. 

In each country I pointed out the desirability of using biological knowledge 
and positive management policies to estimate ivory production. The remainder 
of the world might well be justified in questioning the size of the quota if 
it was simply derived by looking at the previous year's exports and 
arbitrarily stating the same figure, or adjusting it upwards or downwards 
without any scientific basis. I offered to assist by running through a “dumny 
exercise” in setting the quota if they wished to do this, using the 
methodology which is explained later in this chapter. I stressed however, that 
the figures should not be taken and used without further in-depth 
consideration, and in certain aspects better data should be obtained before 
the required date for quota submission. I also assured the authorities that I 
had no intention of publishing the result of this exercise as a “desired” 
quota for the country. 

I have counselled against setting “wishful” quotas in all countries. Whilst 
the authorities might hope that by setting a low quota the number of elephant 
dying may decrease, there is little point in this if it results either in the 
trade going “underground”, or in vast surpluses of ivory accumulating which 
the country is reluctant to export in order to save face having stated a 


certain quota. Ivory is money, and an agency might justifiably be accused of 
financial mismanagement if the proceeds from this resource remain blocked for 
any length of time. Ten tonnes of ivory are worth about a million dollars and 
the interest alone on such an amount is sufficient to provide a substantial 
proportion of the running expenses for most wildlife agencies. It would be 
better to overestimte the quota than to underestimate it. there is no 
obligation to export the full amount, and in any case provisions exist for 
extending the quota in any given year. 

At an early stage it became apparent that many of the most fundamental 
principles involved in harvesting elephant populations were not widely known. 
As a result of this, where time permitted, I preceded the quota setting 
exercise with a short discussion of the limits to which elephant can be 
exploited, and optimum strategies for different management objectives. This 
forms the basis of the next section. 



Pilgram and Western (1984) discuss various strategies for managing elephant 
populations for maximum sustained ivory harvest and two important principles 
emerge from their work. 

a) The sustained yield of ivory derived from natural mortality in a stable 
population is the maximum harvest. There is no long-term cropping strategy 
that can produce more ivory. It is more profitable to collect the heavy 
tusks from a few old animals dying than to harvest any number of animals 
which have not reached the normal age of death. 

This is a result of the exponential growth curve of male tusks. Unlike a 
butchery strategy for cattle, where the optimum is to slaughter animals at 
the point at which they cease to gain body weight (or even slightly before 
this), in the case of elephant the maximum ivory return is obtained by 
allowing them to live their full life. 

Parker and Bradley Martin (1982) state with regard to natural mortality in 
stable man-free circumstances that “if all such ivory could be recovered, 
it would be sufficient to meet most of or even exceed the current world 
demand.” But it is not clear from their paper whether they realise that 
the harvest from natural mortality may, in fact, be the maximum 
theoretical harvest. 

b) Any attempt to maintain an ivory harvest greater than that provided by the 
natural mortality in a stable population, whether by random killing or by 
selective hunting for larger tusks, ultimately results in the 
extermination of the population. This results from the increasing numbers 
of animals required in each successive year to sustain the same weight of 

Whilst this might not, at first sight, appear to be the sort of strategy 
that any responsible wildlife authority would consider, it may be the de 
facto situation in certain countries in Africa. 

A constant harvest of ivory can be achieved by specifying a certain number 
of animals to be harvested annually (provided this is within the sustained 
yield capability of the population), but this will not exceed the harvest 
from natural mortality in a stable population. 

The above two points apply to the case where a population is being managed for 
Maximum ivory return, and are a strong economic argument. The argument is 
further enhanced by the fact that the price per kilogramme of ivory is far 
higher for large tusks, and by the fact that while waiting for males to reach 
their terminal age they can be earning valuable revenue as a tourist 
attraction. The key assumption in the above is that of a stable population, 
and the practicalities of such a state are discussed below. 

In modelling elephant populations, perhaps the most critical parameters are 
the fecundity of breeding females from the ages of 15 to 45 years, and the 
mortality over the same range (provided there is not an excessive neonatal 
mortality). In the course of modelling the elephant population in the Luangwa 
Valley, Hanks and McIntosh (1973) found that, of all the reproductive 
homeostatic mechanisms, changes in the calving interval (fecundity) had the 


greatest effect on the growth of the population. If stability is achieved with 
a very low fecundity and a very low mortality, production of animals (and 
hence ivory) will not be high. Obviously, for maximum production the higher 
the fertility the greater is the potential. A stable population arising from 
high fertility and high mortality will be most productive. However, such a 
hypothetical population ignores the known mechanisms which elephant possess 
for self-regulation. Unfortunately, there are very few documented cases of 
stable populations much less an analysis of the fecundity and mortality in 
them. Laws et al. (1975) carried out a detailed study of the population 
dynamics of the Murchison Falls National Park population, but this was 
actually declining at the time. A feature of the population was a very low 
fecundity combined with high mortality. 

I have modelled a stable population by beginning with mortalities and 
fecundities calculated for the MFNP population (Laws et al., op. ealia, ))a 
Initially this resulted in a declining population, and I adjusted the 
fecundity upwards and the mortality downwards until stability was achieved. 
Over the middle range the fecundity used was 0.2 calves per adult female per 
year and the mortality in each age class was 0.03 animals per year. Using the 
tusk weight formulae given by Pilgram and Western (1983) for East African 
males and females, I examined the implications of a stable population of one 
million animals. My estimate for the total ivory produced from natural 
mortality was some 670 tonnes per annum. The mean tusk weight for males was 
12.6 kg and for females 3.4 kg, giving a combined mean of 8 kg. This is not 
far from the requirements of the international trade (700-800 tonnes per annum 
- E. Bradley Martin, 1983). However, it is totally impractical to expect that 
all of Africa's elephant populations will ever be in a stable state with these 
particular population parameters at the level of one million animals: it will 
not happen. 

A stable population is assumed to arise when populations are at ecological 
carrying capacity. In Africa very few populations appear to be anywhere near 
such a ceiling. Vegetation damage is occurring in the Chobe National Park, 
Botswana (Clive Walker, pers. comm.) and Ruaha National Park, Tanzania (Borner 
and Severre, 1983), but this does not mean that the animals, if undisturbed, 
will not increase to even higher levels. When considering stability for 
elephant populations due thought must be given to the very large time lags 
involved before the effects of self-regulation are evident. 

Very often populations exceed the desired level and further reduce the 
carrying capacity of the land before any overt signs of regulation are 
manifest. Caughley (1974) argues that perhaps elephant are not regulated in a 
steady-state condition of constant numbers but undergo long term cycles in 
response to their own effects on the environment. All of this is somewhat 
hypothetical - few elephant populations are being given the opportunity to 
test it out. With the present hunting regimes in Africa, populations are 
likely to be well under carrying capacity, and even if all illegal hunting 
ceased, it is doubtful whether the range is available to allow them to 
increase arbitrarily to some undefined limit where they reach carrying 
capacity and hence stability. 

Let us assume that the population of elephant in Africa is one million 
animals, and that this is well below the carrying capacity. If hunting 
pressures were to be removed the animals could be expected to increase rapidly 
towards some distant ecological carrying capacity. Natural mortality should be 
low and fecundity high. Assume that the number is initially below one million 
animals and by the time it passes the level of one million, it has achieved a 
stable age structure. In the year that it exceeds one million it is of 


interest to consider the ivory harvest arising from natural mortality alone. I 
have modelled this using parameters derived from a fast growing population in 
Zimbabwe (R.B. Martin - Ph.D thesis, in prep.) with a fecundity over the 
middle range of 0.25 calves per adult femle per year and a mortality of 0.01 
animals per year in each age class, giving a rate of growth of 5%. Using the 
same technique for estimating the ivory production as above, the outcome was 
200 tonnes in the year in which the population reached one million animals. 
Mean tusk weights were 11.3 kg for males, 3.1 kg for females, and 7.2 kg 
overall. The low mortality gave rise to the low production. Using the same 
approach but adjusting the parameters to give a 3.6% growth rate (0.22 calves 
per adult female per year and 0.015 mortality in the middle range), the 
production rose to 300 tonnes, with the same mean tusk weights. If by some 
miracle all illegal hunting could be stopped, and everyone stood by to wait 
for the bonanza from natural mortality, they would be disappointed. The first 
thing that would happen is that the elephant populations would begin to 
increase rapidly, and it would be a long time before stablisation occurred and 
yields of ivory from natural mortality began to rise. 

Now let us consider the application of culling to stablilise the population 
artificially at one million animals. The management strategy used in the model 
was to remove sufficient animals from the breeding herds to cause the 
population to level off. All females were reduced in the proportion in which 
they occurred in the population, and males which would have been in the cow 
herds (I assumed under 12 years old) were similarly treated. Males above 12 
years old were not affected. Natural mortality was assumed to operate in 
addition to the culling. This is not an unreasonable assumption in such a 
case: there is always a certain level of natural mortality arising from such 
factors as accidents, disease and predation which are unrelated to 
density-dependence. In the case of the population described above which was 
increasing at 3.6%, the annual harvest rose to 765 tonnes (Mean tusk weights: 
males 15.2, females 2.7 combined 8.8 kg). In the case of the population 
increasing at 5% the harvest was 784 tonnes (Mean tusk weights: males 15.6, 
females 2.4, combined 8.8 kg). 

Having gone this far, I could not resist testing to see whether some hunting 
of the males over 45 years old could produce any addition to the harvest. u 
found a very slight improvement could be had by harvesting about 5% of the 
males in this class, raising the total harvest to 790 tonnes. I have no doubt 
that additional improvements could be made with further manipulations of the 
data and the management strategies, but time did not permit this. A run 
subjecting both males and females to the same culling treatment actually 
reduced the ivory harvest, and it is clear that all management for ivory must 
be directed towards maximising the number of males in the upper age classes. 

Both the above management strategy and that of Pilgram and Western (op. cit.) 
assume that all the tusks from natural mortality will be found. Parker (1979) 
gives examples of finding rates and these are generally low (about 6% of what 
is available: however, Bell, in reviewing Parker (1979), recalculated the 
finding rates from Parker's data to about 25%). Parker found that some 20% of 
tusks in the trade came from natural mortality. my suspicion is that this 
proportion would be far lower today. In the tusks I examined in several ivory 
stores in African countries, I found very few tusks which satisfied the 
criteria given by Parker (op. cit.) for recognising natural mortality. It 
would be impractical to demand that all African ivory were recovered after the 
animals died naturally: inevitably an enterprising hunter would speed up the 
process. However, the important principle is that only the oldest males should 
be hunted and if the hunting pressure is more than a low percentage the ivory 
harvest will decline. This is a relatively easy process to monitor: the 
average weights of tusks taken on safari hunting are a good guide to the 
degree of exploitation. 


Of course, not all elephant populations are being managed for economic 
reasons, and it might appear that the above arguments have limited 
application. Culling is normally carried out when populations exceed the 
desired carrying capacity simply to reduce numbers and protect vegetation. 
However, it is interesting that a culling strategy used for conservation 
reasons is probably the optimum for ivory production also. 

The last series of modelling tests that I carried out was to examine the 
effect of demanding a constant harvest of ivory from a fast growing population 
using selective hunting for the largest tusks. This is probably closest to the 
situation pertaining in Africa today. The degree of selectivity was directly 
proportional to the weight of tusks in each age class, and I used Pilgram and 
Western's regression formulae for East African ivory. I found that at a level 
of one million animals a harvest of slightly over 400 tonnes could be 
sustained. At this level the population growth rate was effectively zero. The 
initial rate of growth of the population was not particularly critical: the 
two populations defined above which without hunting would grow at 5% and 3.64, 
and a further populations with a growth rate of 2.3%, all sustained a harvest 
greater than 400 tonnes with small differences caused by the amount of natural 
mortality. The mean weight of male tusks was 4.5 kg and the overall mean was 
3.6 kg, which is considerably lower than those in the trade at present. 

Some interesting points emerged from the modelling. Starting with the stable 
age distribution generated before the hunting started, the population was 
extremely resilient and took 25-50 years to arrive at a new stable age 
distribution under the harvesting treatment. Despite the fact that these 
populations were only capable of a growth rate of between 2.3-5% when not 
hunted, they could sustain offtakes of just under 7% when at the point of 
maximum sustainable harvest. This is an artifact caused by the new shape of 
the age pyramid: there is a preponderance of juveniles in the population which 
gives rise to an apparently high rate of reproduction. However, if the hunting 
pressure is removed the rate of increase reverts back to that which was 
initially defined. Parker and Bradley Martin (1982) in their paper “How Many 
Elephants are Killed for the Ivory Trade” state that percentages as high as 
4.1% are “within the theoretical capacity for an elephant population to 
sustain”. This model confirms the point. 

As 400 tonnes is less than the harvest required by the trade, I examined 
sustainable harvests from populations of 1.5 and 2 million animals. As might 
be expected, the harvests rose to 600 and 800 tonnes respectively. 

I then examined the effects of trying to take a harvest of more than the 
sustainable amount from a population capable of a 5% growth rate in the 
absence of hunting. In doing this the starting conditions of the model greatly 
affect the end result, and there are a wide range of options which can be 
tested. I will deal only with two. The first involved taking a population of 
2 million animals with a stable age distribution generated from an 800 tonne 
harvest which it could sustain, and then increasing the harvest to an amount 
slightly in excess of 800 tonnes. It took 34 years to decline to 1.5 million 
animals, a further 6 years to reach 1 million and a further 5 years to become 
extinct. The second involved subjecting a population of 1 million animals 
growing at a rate of 5% with a stable age distribution to a harvest of 759 
tonnes annually. The population continued to increase for 22 years and peaked 
at just under 1.5 million animals before beginning to decline. It took a 
re 14 years to fall back to the level of one million and then crashed in 


The results from these constant harvest models lead to some interesting 
debate, and the whole debate hinges on the presumption that the model is 
somewhere near correct. If we consider the fact that the amount of ivory in 
the trade has been 600-800 tonnes for the last four years and the mean tusk 
weights are higher than those which I find by modelling to be the limits of a 
constant harvest, it is tempting to conclude that the present estimates of the 
African elephant population are too low. Only a population of some 2 million 
animals could sustain such a harvest. I have assumed East African tusk weights 
for the calculations and these are probably higher than in other elephant 
populations in Africa which would further strengthen the argument: the lower 
tusk weights it would require more animals to provide the harvest. The number 
of animals providing the tusks in trade to Hong Kong and Japan in 1983 was 
67 000 (Caldwell, 1984). The highest offtake of animals that can be sustained 
at a population of 2 million is about 130 000. There is only one flaw in this 
argument, but it is sufficient to invalidate it. If the population of Africa 
was 2 million animals and was being subjected to a harvest of 750 tonnes per 
annum, it would not only be able to sustain it, it would be increasing at a 
rate of 2-3%. And we can be fairly sure that this is not happening. The 
decline documented by numerous surveys is good evidence (Douglas-Hamilton, 

This led me to search for a scenario which satisfied the following conditions: 

a) The population must be declining. 

b) The offtake must be 750 tonnes per annum. 

c) The number of animals providing this offtake must be about 70 000. 
d) The mean tusk weight must be about 6 kg. 

By iterative modelling, I arrived at a solution which satisfied all the above 
criteria. The correct conditions occurred when I allowed harvesting to begin 
on a population of 750 000 animals with a healthy age structure. The 
population rose to about 1 000 000 animals despite the offtake and then began 
to decline. At the point at which it fell below 800 000 animals all the above 
conditions were satisfied. The process took about 30 years from inception of 
the harvest and gave a current population of about 800 000 animals declining 
at a rate of 1.8%. The age distribution was unstable and at this rate of 
offtake the population would crash in less than 10 years. 

Before spreading alarm and despondency, let me repeat that this a model which 
may have errors in it, and does not take into account numerous factors which 
could affect the situation. Caldwell (1985) has revised his estimate of the 
number of animals killed for the ivory trade in 1983 to about 47 000 and the 
figure for 1984 has dropped to about 26 000. At the same time no allowance has 
been made for the illegal export trade or internal carving industries in 
producer countries. 

Bearing in mind the preceding, what principles should be adopted for setting 
quotas? The modelling which I have carried out was completed after visiting 
the producing countries, and I did not have the benefits of its results at the 
time. If I am to believe the results then it is very clear that an annual 
production of 750 tonnes of ivory is not going to be sustained for long and 
therefore quotas should be set in a manner which attempts to redress the 
situation. During my trip I gave the following guidelines which are probably 
still appropriate: 






If a population of elephant is being managed for sport hunting (i.e. large 
tusks), then the percentage of animals allowed on licence each year should 
not exceed about 0.5% of the total population. 

Offtakes of up to 2% from the male sector of the population will not 
seriously affect its status, although the long term yield of ivory will 
not necessarily be higher. 

For maximum yield from a population below carrying capacity, culling 
operations which affect the breeding herds only are probably the optimum. 
Provided the offtake is a "slice" along the edge of the age pyramid taking 
all age classes in the proportion in which they occur in the population, 
the shape of the age pyramid will remain unaffected and males can be 
managed for maximum ivory production. Offtakes of up to 54 will not cause 
the population to decline. (The above models confirm that this gives the 
highest yield for a population below carrying capacity.) 

A heavy yield from selective hunting should be avoided. (Modelling shows 
that populations can certainly survive up to 6% in this manner, but it 
does not produce the most ivory, and is the most disruptive to 
populations. ) 

The next section deals with a methodology for estimating the number of animals 
dying each year, the amount of ivory they produce, and the export quota 
derived from this ivory. 



In order to make a final estimate of the number of tusks which a country will 
have available for export, it is necessary to go through a number of distinct 
steps. It would be convenient if the quota could be simply evaluated by taking 
a proportion of the total population of elephant, but if this were done the 
result would probably overlook a number of factors. The methodology presented 
May appear far too complicated, and it may be thought that few countries will 
have the information necessary to complete the exercise. I will argue strongly 
against this. It may well be that in the first year few countries will have 
accurate data either of elephant numbers or of the factors affecting those 
numbers. However, I believe that the quota system should be aimed at improving 
elephant management in Africa over a number of years, and this objective will 
not be served by beginning with a method that does not cover all 
ramifications. The methodology outlined here clearly identifies the vague 
areas involved in reaching a final figure, and these need to become the 
subject of research while the quota system is in operation. Indeed, the simple 
overt decision of opting for a quota system has brought to the fore many 
questions which I believe have never been fully addressed before. 

In the first chapter I mentioned the need to move towards a system of active, 
adaptive management. The act of setting an export quota for ivory provides a 
very good opportunity to put this into practice. No technical person 
completing the quota setting exercise which follows should be alarmed at the 
fact that he may not know the right factors to use at each step of the 
calculation. The right approach is to make an estimate - even if it is an 
outright guess - and see what happens at the end of the quota year. The 
estimate can be revised and improved for the following year. But most 
important of all, during the year data recording systems should be put in 
place which will permit the initial estimates to be examined. The initial 
estimate and the final outcome must be compared in order to make better 
estimates in the following year. 

Many factors affect the amount of ivory available for export in any country, 
and each country has differences in policy which need to be taken into 
account. I began this trip armed with a pro-forma sheet for setting quotas 
which might have worked in Zimbabwe but did not cover all the contigencies in 
the rest of Africa. By testing the method in many countries, the shortcomings 
in my initial system were exposed, and what is shown here should be a 
considerable improvement. In those countries where the technical authorities 
worked through the earlier exercise with me, this final set of procedures 
should present no great problem. For people reading this for the first time, I 
have tried to present a clear and sequential set of steps which arrive at a 
final export quota. 


Summary of Method 

The following is a brief summary of each step in the process:- 




Estimate the number of animals expected to die in the quota year. 

Estimate how many of these deaths will be officially recorded (i.e. the 
tusks will be registered by government authorities). 

Estimate how many of the animals will bear tusks (i.e. how many are not 

Estimate the number of tusks (i.e. allow for animals with one or no tusks). 

If the country has a minimum size of tusk for export, estimate the number 
of tusks which are above and below this limit. 

Estimate the number of tusks likely to be confiscated by the authorities 
in the quota year, both those originating in the country and those 

originating from the neighbouring countries. Once confiscated they become 
legal for export. 

Estimate the stocks of ivory held over from the previous year, both in 
government and private hands, which may be exported in the quota year. 

Estimate the total number of tusks available in the year of the quota by 
summing the above (Steps 4+ 6+ 7). 

Estimate the number of tusks which will be used in the domestic ivory 
carving industry within the country. 

Deduct this from the total number of tusks to obtain the EXPORT QUOTA. 

Deduct the number of trophy tusks from sport hunting to end up with the 
number of tusks expected to enter the trade. 

I have prepared two forms to be used in estimating ivory production. The first 
(Form Ql) is used to estimated the number of animals expected to die in the 
course of the quota year, and the number of tusks they will produce. The 
second (Form Q2) is used to estimate the number of tusks which will be 
exported. Each step in the method is now discussed in detail. 



FEQUINITIRY (ilo orercncvievovsuersvs, eves) sloveveranscsrecue ViEAR i crcretera SRIgEV ods (IF soo 
Minimum export weight of tusk (if any) EC==] Kg. 



See SIS PA ae as ee 

A i BN IN a 

Z of population dying in quote yeor (100 =x H/A) el 
Finding Foctor [act] 

DEATHS OFFICIALLY RECORDED ipetFade | Dayo > + Rt mene | Ei 

Foctor: no. with tuske anal i) (cae | [ee 

FFUSUGsa REARING TUSKEsa [exe -slaciale aoeIRElaee |e aim aon] Ae 8 


Foctor: no. tuske/onimal 


Fector: no. tuske > limit | ee fell [eal fa. 3 

roraeoy menekgre pts refi |S es ie © rane eames ear) ea 

Totole from boxes X, Y,Z are corried forward to Form Q2. 


Form Ql: Estimates of elephant dying in quota year. 
1. Areas containing elephant; 

The country should be subdivided into the areas containing elephant 
populations. The approach here should be to list as many areas as is 
necessary to allow for differences in the factors affecting the elephant 
populations. For example, one might begin by listing each National Park, 
Game Reserve, and official hunting area, and end with those areas which 
have no special status but nevertheless contain elephant. Provision is 
made on the form for 25 areas to be listed under AREA OF ORIGIN. In 
countries such as Zambia and Tanzania a second sheet may be necessary to 
complete the list, and this is provided for: sub-totals from the first 
sheet can be brought forward to a second sheet. The lower part of the form 
labelled FINAL SHEET ONLY would be completed on the second sheet in 
cases such as this. In general it is preferable to subdivide the country 
into the smallest units possible at this stage of the exercise. 

2. Estimates of elephant populations: 

An estimate of the number of elephant in each of the areas listed in 
Step 1 should be entered in the column POPULATION ESTIMATE. At the risk 
of being tedious, I will repeat that any estimate is better than no 
estimate, and the fact that accurate numbers may not be known for any 
particular area is not a good reason not to make an informed guess. 

3. Causes of death: 

Under the heading CAUSE OF DEATH there are three subheadings, dividing 
elephant mortality into three main classes: 

NATURAL - old age, starvation, disease, predation, fighting and 
MANAGEMENT —- deaths resulting from policy decisions and planned 

ILLEGAL - deaths caused by hunting without official permission, 

The section MANAGEMENT has been further subdivided into four types of 
Management which are defined below: 

a) CULLING - the killing of elephant for conservation reasons, Damage 
to habitat is the usual reason for this action. Culling 
may take the form of a major reduction to bring the 
population to a new lower level, or it may only involve 
killing sufficient animals annually to prevent any 
further population increase. 

b) CROPPING - the killing of elephant for economic reasons, All 
elephant populations can sustain a certain offtake 
without declining, and whilst there are no countries 
(that I am aware of) practising cropping officially at 
the moment, this category may have important 
applications in future management. 

c) SPORT HUNTING - the killing of elephant as a recreational pursuit. This 

category covers both international tourists and local 
residents hunting on licences issued by the authorities. 





CONTROL HUNTING the killing of elephant to protect agricultural crops, 
fences and humans. 

Estimating numbers killed for each area under each category: 

The following are a set of guidelines for estimating the numbers of 
elephant which will die under each category of CAUSE OF DEATH. At the end 
of each section I have given an arbitrary “rule” for those who require it. 

NATURAL MORTALITY: At this stage we are interested in predicting the 
number of animals which will die naturally during the quota year - whether 
or not the tusks from such animals will be recovered. Animals should not 
be included here which die from wounding by hunters. To perform this task 
in a truly scientific manner it would be necessary to have accurate 
figures on the age structure of the population and the age-specific 
mortality. It is doubtful if this exists for any elephant population in 

Laws et al. (1975) calculated high mortalities for the very dense 
population in North Bunyoro (5 - 6.5% overall). Levels such as this 
probably only occur in populations which have not been hunted and are 
severely in excess of carrying capacity. Douglas-Hamilton (1973) gives a 
figure of 10% for mortality at birth and 3-4% thereafter for Lake Manyara 
population, which is at a high density. Hanks and McIntosh (1973) in 
models of the Luangwa elephant considered three levels of mortality over 
the major part of the age span: low (1%), medium (1.5%), and high (42). 
Natural mortality is generally very low in populations which are hunted, 
and this probably applies to most of Africa. In my own work on a sample of 
data from a fairly “young” elephant population in the Sengwa Wildlife 
Research Area mortalities appear very low: some 2-3% at birth and about 1% 
during the major part of life. In an analysis of causes of death from the 
elephant deaths register at Kasungu National Park in Malawi, Richard Bell 
and I found that tusks recovered from natural mortality amounted to about 
1% of the estimated population. The ground coverage in the Park is 
relatively high and most deaths could be expected to be recorded. 

When a mortality curve which is high at birth and high in the last years 
of life is applied to a typical age pyramid of an elephant population what 
can be expected? Although mortality is high for old animals there are few 
of these and they will not contribute that much to total numbers. In the 
middle range the mortality is low but numbers are high. Among young 
animals numbers and mortality are high, but few carcases are found, being 
harder to see and often destroyed by predators. My feeling is that the 
best approximation for the purposes of this exercise is to apply a flat 
percentage to the total number of animals of the order of about 1%, and 
hope to revise this with better information over a period of years. 

Rule 1: use 1% for natural mortality unless you have a better figure. 

CULLING: Culling of elephant is practised only in Zimbabwe and South 
Africa at present and the numbers to be killed are decided largely on a 
basis of the relationship between elephant densities and degree of damage 
to vegetation. For example, in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, which is a 
low rainfall area (400-600 mm), it is considered that vegetation damage 
becomes severe wherever elephant densities exceed 1 per sq km and the 
current culling programme entails reducing the population from some 18 000 
to about 13 000 to achieve this density. The problem is further 
complicated by an uneven distribution within the Park caused by water 
availability. In the Zambezi Valley a density of 0.7 per sq km is used as 
a guideline for culling in the mopane/miombo complexes. 






The grounds for culling depend on policy towards the conservation of 
woodlands and estimates of “damage” to those woodlands in light of stated 
policies. In general, the carrying capacity for elephant declines with 
mean annual rainfall and soil fertility. 

CROPPING: The principles of harvesting elephant populations discussed 
earlier in this chapter apply here. The percentages apply to the 
population as a whole, not simply adult males. 

Rule 2: Do not exceed 0.5% if you are managing for maximum ivory yield. 

Rule 3: Do not exceed about 2% if you are killing only adult males. 
This should ensure some males reaching the oldest age class. 

Rule 4: The maximum sustained yield is about 5% when applied to all 
age classes of the population. It is better to kill entire 
breeding herds at this level of offtake rather than hunt 

SPORT HUNTING: Rule 2 above applies to populations in which elephant are 
being managed entirely for large trophy tusks. 

CONTROL HUNTING: Two factors influence the number of animals which are 
shot on control hunting. The first is the degree of demand from rural 
farmers who want their crops protected, and the second is the limit to 
which the authorities are prepared to go in acceding to those demands. 
Some countries have a policy whereby males carrying very large tusks may 
not be shot on control hunting (e.g. Zimbabwe), while others shoot the 
offending animal regardless of sex or size (e.g. Tanzania). In Malawi 
funds from the ivory shot on control hunting are used to augment the 
departmental budget and there is a strong incentive to hunt animals with 
large tusks. The killing of animals for crop protection is frequently the 
Most wasteful form of resource use and not always the most effective 
deterrent to crop-raiding (Bell, 1985a). Such animals could realise far 
more through the safari hunting industry, or through being allowed to die 
naturally to produce the maximum weight of ivory. However, there is no 
doubt that elephant can cause enormous damage to crops, and failure to 
respond to demands may lead to illegal hunting. The best method of 
estimating figures in this column is to rely on past history of control 
hunting in each area listed. It is important that an accurate reporting 
system is put in place for this purpose. 

Rule 5: To determine estimates for control hunting check the past records 
in the ivory register for the area concerned. 

ILLEGAL HUNTING: The estimation of numbers taken by unlicensed hunters is 
difficult, but not impossible. Whilst the ivory from successful illegal 
operations will not form part of the legal export quota for a country, 
nevertheless it is important to assess the numbers killed because of their 
effect on the remainder of the management programme chosen by the country 

Animals known to have died from wounding by poachers should be included in 

this category (animals dying from wounding in the other management 
categories are added to those categories). 


Estimates can be made using a knowledge of carcases found in the field, or 
by comparing the internal statistics of ivory exports with those from 
importing countries, and using the difference as a measure of illegal 
hunting. Finally, in the absence of any data, a totally arbitrary guess is 
better than nothing: apart from ivory recovered from wounding (above), 
illegal hunting will not contribute to the export quota. 

Number of animals dying in quota year: 

The rows and columns of the table should now be summed to give the 
following totals in the lettered boxes: 

- Natural mortality. 
- Culling. 

- Cropping. 

Sport hunting. 

- Control hunting. 

- Illegal hunting. 

iss} QywmnoNW 

- Total of all the above. 

This completes the first part of the quota form and now the section 
labelled FINAL PAGE ONLY is evaluated. The first stage in this is a 
check on the proportion of the population killed in the quota year, 
obtained by dividing the number dying by the population estimate 
(100 x H/A %). If this is greater or less than desired, it may be 
necessary to revise some of the estimates under MANAGEMENT (because this 
is the only section over which the authorities exercise control). If the 
estimates under ILLEGAL HUNTING are higher than 1 - 2% there may be no 
scope for an offtake under MANAGEMENT, and law enforcement is the only 
course indicated. 

Deaths which produce legal tusks: 

This total includes only those elephant whose deaths will produce legal 
ivory including, for the moment, those who are too young to bear tusks. It 
does not include recorded carcases from which the ivory has been illegally 
taken. All tusks from animals included in the category will be registered, 
Stamped and recorded by the authorities. In the cases of culling, 
cropping, sport hunting and control hunting all deaths will (or should be) 
recorded and the totals in boxes C, D, E & F can be transferred 
directly to the row DEATHS WHICH PRODUCE LEGAL TUSKS. Two columns are 
not straight-forward and these are dealt with below. 

a) NATURAL MORTALITY: It is necessary to multiply the number of animals 
dying (Box B) by a Finding Factor to arrive at a total in Box I. In 
areas which are well patrolled and most tusks recovered, or where 
local residents regularly hand in found ivory to the authorities this 
factor could be high (e.g. 0.9): in areas where there is no ground 
coverage by wildlife staff or where tusks are found but enter the 
illegal trade this factor may be zero. 

b) ILLEGAL HUNTING: The only ivory which will be recovered will be from 
those animals which are wounded and which are not recovered by the 
poachers themselves. The Finding Factor here can only be based on 
past experience of the area concerned. It depends both on the amount 
of ground coverage and on the proportion of animals which escape from 
poachers in a wounded condition and die without being found by them. 


In the same analysis referred to earlier for Kasungu National Park, 
the number of tusks recovered from animals known to have died by 
wounding was approximately half that recovered from natural 
mortality: i.e. in the case of Malawi, the factor chosen to multiply 
the number of animals killed illegally should be such as to give a 
number of tusks in Box J which is half that in Box I. 

The best approach in both the above cases is probably to work 
backwards from a knowledge of what ivory was recovered in the 
previous year from carcases in the field known to have died naturally 
and from wounding. These are the final figures in boxes I and J. 
The number of animals dying naturally and from wounding must be 
estimated by other methods (e.g. assume a natural mortality of 1% of 
the population to give the total in Box B). The factor can then be 
calculated in retrospect. 

Rule 6: Work backwards from totals in Boxes I & J to get finding 

Boxes 1,C,D,E,F,J are summed to give K - DEATHS WHICH PRODUCE 

The number of animals bearing tusks: 

This calculation is intended to eliminate from the quota estimate those 
animals which have not yet reached an age where their tusks have erupted. 
Allowance for tuskless adults should not be made at this stage. This is 
very much dependent on the category under which the animal has died, anda 
different factor is required for each case. The exception is SPORT HUNTING 
where the number can be transferred directly to the next row (Box E). 
The following deals with Factor: no. with tusks on the quota form. 




NATURAL MORTALITY: The highest mortality of young elephant occurs 
soon after birth before they have developed permanent tusks. This 
would tend to suggest that a high proportion under natural mortality 
should not have tusks. However, this is more than compensated for by 
the fact that not many carcases of young elephant are found. The 
factor for estimating the number of animals dying naturally which 
bear tusks could be extracted from an ivory register which records 
all elephant deaths, including those of animals without tusks. In the 
Kasungu National Park register this is done, and the cases of natural 
mortality recorded without tusks is very low indeed. The same applies 
to data from SWRA where over a period of some 10 years no more than 
4-5 carcases of juveniles were recorded. Such a situation could 
change in extreme drought conditions: in 1984 in Mana Pools National 
Park, Zimbabwe, a significant number of juvenile deaths was recorded. 
My recommendation here is to use a high factor - 0.9 or greater. 

[Box L = Box I x Factor] 

CULLING: In a sample of some 800 animals killed in SWRA which 
comprised complete herds and a balanced amount of males. the 
proportion of animals whose tusks had not yet erupted was 0.15. Thus 
the factor giving the number of animals bearing tusks should be about 
0.85. [Box M = Box C x Factor] 

CROPPING: If cropping is carried out in the same manner as culling 

the same factor would apply. However, if only adult animals are taken 
then the factor becomes 1. [Box N = Box D x Factor] 


d) CONTROL HUNTING: The factor here depends largely on the policy in the 
country concerned: if young animals are never shot on control then 
the factor is 1. If they are occasionally shot then the factor can be 
determined from office records. I would expect that very few animals 
too young to bear tusks are shot on control in any country, and this 
factor could safely be made very close to unity. 

[Box O = Box F x Factor] 

e) ILLEGAL HUNTING: The only reason for inclusion of a factor in this 
case is to cover the contingency that amongst the carcases arising 
from wounding which are not found by poachers may be some too young 
to bear tusks. An example of this would be those who lose their 
mothers through hunting and die shortly afterwards. The factor would 
be based entirely on previous records from the area concerned. It is 
doubtful if it would differ significantly from unity. 

[Box P = Box J x Factor] 

Box Q is the sum of Boxes L,M,N,E,0,P and gives the total number 
of ANIMALS BEARING TUSKS which will be officially recorded. 

Total number of tusks: 

A factor is introduced here to adjust for the number of animals which bear 
only one tusk or are tuskless. The occurrence of tuskless animals and 
single-tuskers varies from one region in Africa to another, and the 
Factor: no. tusks/animal should be appropriate for the area concerned. A 
factor derived from a culling sample in the SWRA was 1.92 for both sexes 
combined. However, the factor was higher for males (1.98) than for females 
(1.88). Rodgers et al. (1978) found a factor of 1.88 for animals in 
Tanzania. It is possible that in the case of SPORT HUNTING a higher factor 
should be used since fewer single-tuskers are taken than in any other 
category. However, all this may be splitting hairs: the result would 
probably not be affected greatly if a factor of 2 were used throughout. 

This factor is applied to Boxes L,M,N,E,0,P & Q to calculate the new 
value of Boxes R,S,T,U,V,W & X, which is the TOTAL NO. OF TUSKS. 

Minimum weight of tusk for export: 

Certain countries have in the past placed limits on the smallest size of 
tusk which can be hunted, and used this limit for export. Several of the 
Francophone countries still use this system, and in general in countries 
where there is a developed internal ivory carving industry there is a 
tendency to use the smaller tusks for such industries, and to export the 
larger tusks. Pilgram and Western (1984) point out that if hunting is 
restricted to a certain minimum size of tusk, the security of elephant 
populations is assured. Because of different policies within the ivory 
producing countries (discussed in the next chapter) it is not possible at 
this stage to introduce a “blanket” minimum size of tusk in the 
international ivory trade. However, there is nothing to prevent individual 
states enforcing such a limit internally and this section is designed to 
cover that contingency. 


At the top of Form Ql is a box where the minimum size of tusk for export 
can be specified. In order to calculate the number of tusks greater than 
this minimum size, provision is made for a Factor: no. tusks > limit. 
This factor will vary with the source of the tusks, and probably the best 
method of estimating it in each case is to extract data from the ivory 
registers in each country. The alternative is to arrive at the value for 
the factor by a series of approximations over several years in the course 
of estimating quotas. The categories are dealt with briefly below: 

a) NATURAL MORTALITY: Data from Kasungu National Park give a factor of 
0.35 for the number of tusks greater than 1 kg. obtained from natural 
mortality. This indicates a very high recovery of small tusks: the 
factor is likely to be higher in most countries. 

b) CULLING: A sample of 800 animals culled in the SWRA gives the 
following factors for the number of tusks greater than various weight 
limits, The data include adult males which were present in the 
breeding herds. 

Lower limit for weight Proportion above lower limit 

IL Ne pdoaddnadoane Oo Sad000 Wad 
See. gigs cod UUbd OOOO RICOO 0.32 
BAKO) Myelerctdieretete etereheierene tienen 0.23 
DK Gs Corer arccacetacsrel eta) = ote artes LOR 
GK’ Geverercrencret siete c¥etares eke cep, Waits) 
U Ne ooadcocccconocsco0odg Wodtlt 
SUR Gate Vetere avecs Soo cao00R0uC 0.09 
OM comny. er tee crere tree he tee OOM 
Creatermthan HONK Ge scsi cies <lelerertere setetere OOD 

c) CROPPING: If carried out in the same manner as culling, the factors 
should be the same. If cropping is restricted to adult males and none 
under the official limit are killed, the factor is obviously l. 

d) SPORT HUNTING: All tusks should be greater than the legal limit and 
the value in Box U can be transferred directly to the corresponding 
box below. 

e) CONTROL HUNTING: The Kasungu National Park data show a factor of 0.97 
for the number of tusks above 1 kg. However, there is an incentive to 
shoot large tuskers on control in Malawi, and this figure is likely 
to be lower in other countries. 

f) ILLEGAL HUNTING: In the Kasungu data covering animals which have died 
from wounding, the factor for tusks greater than 1 kg is 0.93. Note 
that this does not include confiscated ivory at this stage. 

The total number of tusks greater than the imposed limit is summed in Box 
Y (NO. TUSKS ABOVE LIMIT) and the number of tusks under the limit, Box 
Z, is derived by subtracting Box Y from Box X. The totals in these 
three boxes are transferred to the appropriate boxes on Form Q2 to begin 
the second part of the estimate of an export quota. 



OUINTRWatetavercverencliyereletevercicvensie.s cies 

Minimum export weight of tuek (if any) Ea] Kg. 


Cerried forward from Form 01 











SPORT HUNTING, Box U on Form Q1 
PERSONAL EFFECTS, Box p thie form 




Form Q2: Estimate Of Export Quota 


The three figures from Form Ql are entered into Boxes X,Y & Z. The 
titles BELOW LIMIT and ABOVE LIMIT refer to the Minimum export weight 
of tusk specified in the box at the top of the sheet. 


This category is the most difficult to estimate without a crystal ball. 
From an examination of the records of various countries it is obvious that 
confiscated ivory tends to occur in very large discrete amounts which are 
impossible to predict. The problem is that in several countries it forms 
the largest part of the export quota, and it makes a mockery of the system 
if all the carefully derived estimates from Form Ql are dwarfed by a vast 
amount of confiscated ivory. Having been seized by the authorities, such 
ivory is obviously legal for export by governments, but obviously no 
government wishes to conduct its management on such a basis. 

In the discussions I have had in various countries the general consensus 
is that it is neither practical nor desirable to include a large provision 
for confiscated ivory in the quota estimate. The best solution is an 
administrative one, where confiscated ivory is kept separate from the 
remainder of the quota and in the event of a large amount being seized, a 
provision will be made under the rules of the quota system for the country 
concerned to advise the CITES Secretariat after the seizure that the 
amount is to be added to the export quota during the quota year. 

Nevertheless, hardly any country goes through a year without some minimum 
amount of confiscated ivory, and it is this which should be entered in the 
appropriate boxes in this section. The estimate can be very simply based 
on the minimum or typical figure from the preceding years. 

The proportions greater or less than the export limit can be estimated 
from an analysis of the ivory register in the country concerned. For 
example, in the ivory store at the headquarters in Malawi, 77% of the 
confiscated tusks were greater than 1 kg. and 23% were less. 

These totals should be entered in Boxes, a,b, & c. 

The same arguments apply as in the last section. Policies towards 
repatriating ivory originating from neighbouring countries vary from one 
country to another in Africa: a new initiative is afoot among the Central 
African states to co-operate in preventing exports of one country's ivory 
by another, while in Southern Africa repatriation is unlikely. There have 
been proposals for forming a fund from such confiscated ivory to assist 
conservation efforts in Africa. This subject is discussed further under 
administrative measures. As a matter of policy, it seems unwise to include 
a large allocation under this heading in Boxes d,e & f. 



as Stocks held by Government: 

The provision here is to cover any tusks remaining from the previous 
quota year. The proportions above and below the export limit can be 
assessed accurately because the tusks are in government hands. This 
information is entered in Boxes g,h & j. 

De Stocks held by private dealers: 

It is very important that these are entered into the quota estimate: 
any significant amount of ivory in this category has the potential to 
cause major problems if it is not taken into account at the outset. 
This should apply only to dealers within the country of origin 
(discussed further in the next chapter). As in the previous case, the 
values for Boxes k,l & m can be precisely estimated. 

3, Provision for export of personal effects by private citizens: 

This is a small category covering the specific case of a resident of 
the country who owns trophy tusks not acquired in the year of the 
quota, and who decides to leave the country, exporting his trophies 
as personal effects. He will require an export permit for the tusks, 
and a provision can be made under this heading in Boxes n,o & p. 
Such tusks are extremely unlikely to be smaller than the export 
minimum, or to enter the trade. 


The figures for Boxes q, r & s are the totals of all boxes above. 


Provision is made here for the number of tusks which will be used in the 
domestic carving industry of the country. The total is made up of all 
tusks smaller than the export minimum (Box q) and a certain number of 
tusks above the export minimum (Box t). The total of the two is the 
amount consumed internally (Box u). 


The amount in Box v is derived by subtracting the figure in Box t from 
the total number of tusks greater than the export minimum (Box r). This 
figure is the final EXPORT QUOTA. 

The number of tusks entering the trade (Box x) is obtained by 

subtracting the number of trophy tusks (Sport hunting - Box U on Form Ql 
and Box o on Form Q2) from the total export quota (Box v). 

A worked example of Forms Ql and Q2 for Zimbabwe is given in Appendix 12. 



In this section I will discuss implications arising from setting quotas which 
will affect all countries, and the following section will address those 
aspects of quotas which are peculiar to individual countries. 

1. It may well be that the method outlined is somewhat daunting. Whatever 
methodology is followed by individual countries, provided it addresses the 
following important questions it should suffice: 

a) How many elephant will die in the country during the quota year? 
b) How many tusks will they produce? 

c) How many tusks will arise from other sources? 

d) How many of these tusks will enter the international trade? 

This may appear self-evident, but unless the problem is approached in this 
manner, the quota estimates are likely to be of little value. 

2. It is necessary for wildlife agencies in each country to consider the 
total elephant population in the country, not simply that part of the 
resource located within protected areas. 

3. It is necessary for the same authorities to take into account the total 
stock of ivory in the country, and not just the tusks which will pass 
through government hands. The number of tusks held by private dealers and 
the carving industries must be recorded. Whilst the quota system for 
international trade can do nothing to affect domestic carving industries 
in countries, the responsible wildlife agencies themselves should take 
into account both internal and export ivory. An export quota which 
appears to be well below the minimum which the elephant population can 
Sustain will be meaningless if the internal carving industry is using a 
large amount of ivory which the populations cannot sustain. 

4. A vital part of estimating the quota is to understand the various 
components which make up the final total. How many of the elephants dying 
are the result of positive management by the authorities, and how many 
deaths are caused by factors beyond their control? Clearly the objective 
Must be to bring more and more of the elephant deaths under the heading of 
management and reduce the illegal. component. 

5. By following a process of quota setting such as that outlined, it rapidly 
becomes apparent which ivory is bypassing the authorities without being 
recorded. This need not necessarily be the tusks arising from illegal 
hunting: within many of the administrative systems I encountered it became 
obvious that a large part of the ivory trade begins and ends in private 
hands without the authorities controlling or monitoring the process at any 
stage -— and no laws are being broken. 


It is essential to regard the inception of the quota system as a move 
towards active, adaptive management. In the early stages, it must be fully 
accepted that few countries have the information to estimate their ivory 
production accurately. However, it is vital that the authorities concerned 
are bold enough to make informed guesses at each stage of the estimating 
procedure, and accept that these can be improved in the following year. At 
the same time, in order to make the improvement, a system of data 
recording must be put in place designed to answer those questions which 
arose at the first attempt to set a quota. 

The question of quota justification was discussed in each of the countries 
visited. Would it be adequate to simply advise the CITES Secretariat of a 
number, or should the quota be backed up by a statement of how it was 
calculated? Most countries were in favour of some sort of standardised 
procedure for setting quotas, and after running through the method 
outlined felt that they would not be averse to presenting their estimates 
on such a form. All countries were particularly mindful of the fact that, 
like it or not, their quotas were bound to come under some form of 
scrutiny and it might be better to pre-empt questions by a fuller 
explanation at the outset. A quota which is simply based on a past record 
of exports would be far less acceptable than one justified on grounds of 

One advantage in presenting in full the various calculations leading to 
the final export quota is that it will clearly demonstrate to non-producer 
countries the chief sources of ivory. Many critics of African countries 
feel that the exports of raw ivory are largely a result of the number of 
hunting permits issued. This is simplistic and ignores the numerous 
sources of ivory. Indeed, in all countries visited the smallest part of 
ivory exports comes from sport hunting and such tusks do not enter the 
international trade. Yet there still seem to be lobbies that are pressing 
for hunting bans as the solution to elephant preservation - bans which, if 
implemented, will do nothing to reduce the illegal trade and might even 
increase it. 

At the start of this chapter, I quoted a passage from the CITES 
Secretariat which stated that “for the quota system to be successful, 
quotas must be realistic”. In each country I have advised against setting 
a low quota which is unrealistic in terms of the recent history of ivory 
exports. At the same time there is little doubt that in many countries 
elephants are being exploited at a rate which far exceeds anything that 
the population can sustain. To simply take this as a guide to the size of 
quota is shying away from the conservation responsibilities. 

I believe that the only sensible approach is to follow a method such as 
the one outlined in this chapter, and in all cases of doubt regarding the 
correct values to use at each stage of the calculation to adopt a higher 
value rather than a lower one. It will serve no purpose to underestimate 
the number of animals which will die in the year concerned, and it is 
financially irresponsible to cause a situation where, because of a 
technical error, ivory may be held in storage to avoid exceeding a stated 
quota. However, the final export quota calculated by this method should be 
carefully compared with the recent record of exports and if there are vast 
discrepancies, or if the result is not that desired by the authorities on 
policy grounds, then the procedure should be repeated until a compromise 
situation is reached. At least by identifying all the parts of the quota, 
there is the opportunity to decide where adjustments can be made. If the 
result leads authorities to conclude that their elephant populations were 
unnecessarily overexploited in the past then I can see no reason to simply 
continue at the same level of exploitation. 



I have been asked by the CITES Secretariat to make some estimate of the total 
export quota for Africa, and to do this it is necessary to consider the 
expected quotas which individual countries will contribute. 

I find myself in an invidious position here. In each country I stressed that 
it was not my task to set the export quota, and my role was to provide 
assistance should it be required. In the “dummy” quota-setting exercises the 
approach was mainly to demonstrate the technique, rather than to finalise an 
export quota. Now it appears I am about to be dishonourable. 

Therefore, I will not reproduce the results of the quota-setting exercises in 
each country, but will make my own estimates of quotas. The official 
authorities should not feel that my estimates are intended to put pressure on 
them, and should only regard my figures as a broad guide. In many cases I may 
not have taken into account the policies of the governments concerned, or the 
political realities of the situation. 

In the time available it is not possible to go through the process demanded by 
Forms Ql & Q2 for all countries. The estimates have been made very rapidly, 
and attempt only to extract the major features of the quota which might be 
expected in each country. The approach I have used is as follows: 

a) In the long term, where elephant are being managed for ivory production, 
the maximum sustained harvest will be achieved by a low offtake of large 
males, coupled with a culling programme of breeding herds if populations 
cannot be allowed to increase until they reach stability. However, to 
suddenly suggest that all of Africa should stop hunting elephant overnight 
is unlikely to find acceptance, and will probably accelerate the illegal 
trade. A sounder strategy at this stage would be to try to limit offtakes 
to no more than about 2% of populations, which should allow numbers to 
increase, and then gradually to reduce the offtake of males over a period 
of years. This is provided the range is available for populations of 
elephant to increase if it is not, the correct culling strategies will 
still produce a high yield. I stress that, contrary to intuitive feelings, 
the greatest long term yield of ivory will be provided by a low harvest 
of adult males. 

b) Bearing in mind the requirements of the consumer countries, I have 
deliberately selected for the highest quota possible compatible with the 
Strategy expressed in a) above. To immediately move to the optimum 
strategy of minimum harvest would lead to a slump in ivory production for 
several years while elephant populations recovered and large tusks began 
to appear in the populations. I have tried to steer a course which allows 
some production while populations are recovering. 

c) I have separated the quota into a sustained yield, and a surplus which may 
appear in the first year of the quota system due to stored amounts of 
ivory or culling operations, but cannot be expected to be part of the 
quota in following years. These surpluses are present at the time of 
writing in February 1985, but may have entered the international trade 
before the introduction of the quota system in 1986. 









As far as possible I have tried to take into account the policies in each 
country towards wildlife utilisation. I may have suggested some offtakes 
which are incompatible with conservation policies in certain countries, 
and if this is so, the final export quota will be lower. 

I have not included sport hunting in the quota calculations because these 
tusks do not enter the international trade. Provided the quota for sport 
hunting in each country does not exceed about 0.5% of the population 
estimate, this can be accommodated over and above the trade quota without 
throwing populations into a decline. 

Where I have had to make estimates of a weight of ivory for which I have 
no data on mean tusk weight I have used the figure of 5.9 kg (rounded to 
6 kg) from Caldwell (1984) for tusks entering the trade in Hong Kong and 
Japan in 1983. For culling operations I have assumed that 85% of animals 
carry tusks and the mean tusk weight is 3 kg based on Zimbabwean data. For 
ease of computation, I have assumed that all elephant have two tusks. All 
weights given are in kilogrammes. 

I have excluded illegal hunting from the quota, because I have no way of 
estimating the extent of it. Parker and Bradley Martin (1982) state that 
most tusks which may have illegal origins nevertheless leave Africa with 
legal documents. If this is so then they would use a part of the quota in 
the exporting country and the remainder of the quota which is determined 
by management policies would have to be reduced accordingly. 

I have not justified the small numbers of tusks I have allocated in some 
countries to end of year surpluses, confiscated amounts, or findings from 
natural mortality. Parker (1979) estimated the proportion of found ivory 
in the Hong Kong trade to be about 20%, but I have assumed lower amounts 
in these estimates, because I believe in recent years that natural 
mortality will have declined due to intensive hunting. The proportion in 
the ivory registers in Malawi and Tanzania was about 1%. 

It is extremely difficult to set quotas for countries whose declared 
policy of elephant exploitation is a total ban on all hunting or a limited 
number of trophies for safari hunting, yet whose exports often amount to 
hundreds of tonnes. In cases such as this I have allowed a cropping quota 
in keeping with the principle discussed in b) above. However, such a 
cropping quota is not part of the official policy. 

It is difficult to take into account the war situations which obtain in 
certain countries. In such cases I have simply estimated a quota which 

should come into effect when order is restored. 

The sequence which follows is in the order of countries in Table 1 and 
uses the final population estimates from the same table. 


WEST AFRICA Population: 16 900 

West Africa can contribute little to the international trade. At an offtake of 
2% it would produce some 700 tusks, all of which would be consumed internally. 

Sustainable quota: 700 tusks weighing 4.2 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: 700 tusks weighing 4.2 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: zero 

Central African Republic Population: 19 500 

At an offtake of 2.1% the production would be 800 tusks per annum weighing 4.8 
tonnes. Froment (1985) estimates that the internal carving industry requires 
15-30 tonnes each year. Clearly the sustainable production cannot support this 
even if the full amount is diverted to the internal industry. There is no 
surplus for an export quota. 

Sustainable quota: 800 tusks weighing 4.8 tonnes, 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: 800 tusks weighing 4.8 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: zero 

Cameroon Population; 12 400 

Virtually all of Cameroon's ivory production is used internally, and the 
country has not exported since 1981 (Caldwell, 1984). However, the authorities 
wish to have a small export quota to provide for the contingency of a surplus, 
and to retain an element of competition between the carving industry and 
international buyers. At present the artisans use a high proportion of illegal 
ivory in their work, and the authorities are introducing measures to reduce 

this. Elephant populations in the country may be stable or even increasing 

A 2% offtake would produce some 500 tusks. The average weight of confiscated 
ivory in the Yaounde store is about 12 kg. and using this figure the annual 
production would be 6 tonnes. Allowing 400 tusks for internal use this gives 
100 tusks weighing 1.2 tonnes for export each year. 

The authorities have some 400 tusks (4.8 tonnes) on hand at present. I have 
assumed that all of this will be exported in 1986. 

Sustainable quota: 500 tusks weighing 6 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 400 tusks weighing 4.8 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 400 tusks weighing 4.8 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 500 tusks weighing 6 tonnes. 


Chad Population: 2500 

This elephant population has been subjected to intense hunting and has few 
animals with large tusks. The authorities see the primary need as one of 
restoring the population to former levels following the events of the war. Th2 
maximum yield for several years should not exceed 2% - preferably less. This 

gives only 100 tusks which would be totally absorbed by the internal carving 

The authorities believe there are large illegal ivory caches still within the 
country following the war, and are considering special moves to recover this 
ivory. Assuming their project is successful, they anticipate a minimum of 25 
tonnes will be recovered and exported. 

Sustainable quota: 100 tusks weighing 0.6 tonnes. 

Surplus 1986 only: 4000 tusks weighing 25 tonnes. 

Internal industry: 100 tusks weighing 0.6 tonnes, 

Export quota 1986: 4000 tusks weighing 25 tonnes. 

Congo Population: 59 000 

The Congo exported the following amounts to Hong Kong in recent years. 

1979 1980 1981 pg 82 1983 
Total weight: 52 754 68 493 117 882 61 009 814 kg. 
Mean tusk weight: oR8. 6.7 6.8 5a) SSE) eo 
Number of animals: 2 692 5) aati 8 667 5 259 69 

(From Caldwell (1984). I have used the mean tusk weights from Hong Kong and 
Japan combined, which may be slightly high.) 

The authorities were amazed at these figures, since their own records show a 
fraction of the total. There is a high possibility that false certificates of 
origin were used to cover Zairian exports. 

I have evaluated a possible quota below. It includes a 1% cropping quota which 
is based on the "legalised poaching” proposal discussed in the final chapter 
of this report. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

Natural Mortality: 50 100 6 600 
Cropping: 600 1200 10 12000 
Confiscations: 100 200 6 1200 
Surplus: 250 500 6 3000 

TOTALS 1000 2000 16800 
Assume 800 tusks used internally at 6 kg - 4.8 tonnes. 
Assume 1200 tusks exported at 10 kg - 12.0 tonnes. 

Sustainable quota: 2000 tusks weighing 12 tonnes. 

Surplus 1986 only: zero 

Internal industry: 800 tusks weighing 4.6 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 1200 tusks weighing 12 tonnes. 

Note: The quota constitutes 1.6% of the estimated population per annum. If 

the actual population is as low as 20 000 animals the percentage 
offtake rises to 5%, which should still be sustainable. 


Equatorial Guinea Population; 1 800 

The production on a sustained basis would be less than 100 tusks giving under 
a tonne per year. All of this would be consumed internally and the amount has 
not been included here. 

Gabon Population: 48 000 

Like the Congo, Gabon is a difficult country for which to estimate a quota. 
Gabon's past history of ivory exports is negligible largely because of a large 
market in Libreville for worked ivory. If some 35 000 French residents are 
estimated to purchase 0.3 kg of worked ivory each, this amounts to 10 tonnes 
consumed within the country per year. Residents of Gabon advised me that the 
figure was likely to be higher. A significant amount of both raw and worked 
ivory enters the country illegally from neighbouring countries. 

An offtake of 1000 animals (2.1%) gives an output of 2000 tusks. If it is 
assumed that 1800 of these weighing 6 kg are used in the internal industry, 
and the balance of 200 at 10 kg are exported this gives a quota of 2 tonnes. 
As in the case of Congo, if the population is half that estimated the quota is 
still sustainable. 

Sustainable quota: 2000 tusks weighing 12.8 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 

Internal industry: 1800 tusks weighing 10.8 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 200 tusks weighing 2.0 tonnes. 

Zaire Population: 523 000 

Zaire has a hunting ban in effect at present, but this has not prevented a 
large amount of illegal hunting. In 1983, Zaire exported 40 tonnes to Hong 
Kong, and there may be large amounts of ivory moving into neighbouring 
countries. This makes it difficult to calculate a legal quota. Recognising the 
de facto situation, a system of “legalised poaching” to replace illegal 
hunting was discussed with the authorities in Zaire, and I have included a 
0.5% cropping quota to provide for this in the calculations below. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 
Natural Mortality: 500 1 000 6 6 000 
Cropping: 2 500 5 000 10 50 000 
Confiscations: 500 1 000 6 6 000 
Surplus: 500 1 000 6 6 000 
TOTALS 4 000 8 000. 68 000 

Assume 3 000 tusks used internally at 6 kg - 18 tonnes. 
Assume 5 000 tusks exported at 10 kg - 50 tonnes. 

Sustainable quota: 8 000 tusks weighing 68 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 

Internal industry: 3 000 tusks weighing 18 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 5 000 tusks weighing 50 tonnes. 

Note: This quota is 0.8% of the population: if the number of animals is as 
low as 100 000 the proportion only rises to 4%, which should be 


Ethiopia Population: 9 000 

The chief source of legal ivory is through confiscation. No culling or 
cropping is carried out, and control work is very low. The authorities are not 
particularly anxious to promote elephant utilisation for the ivory trade and 
licences issued for sport hunting seldom exceed 10 per year. At present there 
is a surplus of some 500 tusks in Addis Ababa which I have assumed will be 
exported. The quota might be made up as follows. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

Natural Mortality: 15 30 6 180 
Control: 10 20 10 200 
Confiscations: 75 150 10 1500 

TOTALS 100 200 1880 
Surplus (1986 only): A 300 10 3000 
(2 main grades are B 200 6 1200 
present in the 
ivory store) 500 4200 
Assume 100 tusks used internally at 9 kg - 0.9 tonnes. 
Assume 100 tusks exported at 10 kg - 1.0 tonnes. 
Sustainable quota: 200 tusks weighing 1.9 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 500 tusks weighing 4.2 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 100 tusks weighing 0.9 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 600 tusks weighing 5.2 tonnes. 
Kenya Population: 28 000 

Kenya is unique in having no internal carving industry and no private dealers. 
All ivory has to be exported. Ivory arises only from control hunting, natural 
mortality and confiscation. Kenya's prime use for elephant is in the tourist 
industry, and thus there is little point in calculating a percentage offtake 
based on the entire population. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 
Natural Mortality: 50 100 6 600 
Control: 150 300 6 1800 
Confiscations: 200 400 6 2400 
Surplus; 100 200 6 1200 
TOTALS 500 1000 6000 

Sustainable quota: 1000 tusks weighing 6.0 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: zero 
Export quota 1986: 1000 tusks weighing 6.0 tonnes. 

This is 1.7% of the population. 


Somalia Population: 9 000 

A hunting ban has been in effect since 1971 and all private carving industries 
and dealings in raw ivory are prohibited. The Government is starting a small 
carving industry. The largest part of the Somalia quota is a stock of 40 
tonnes held by the Government at present which the authorities intend clearing 
in the near future. Future acquisitions of ivory will be used internally and a 
sustained yield of 1.1% would give 200 tusks for this purpose. 

Sustainable quota: 200 tusks weighing 1.2 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 12276 tusks weighing 40 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 200 tusks weighing 1.2 tonnes. 

Export quota 1986: 12276 tusks weighing 40 tonnes. 
Sudan Population: 32 300 

All raw ivory exports were banned in December 1983, although a few private 
dealers are fulfilling contracts extending beyond the date of the ban. The 
authorities intend to have a fairly large quota in the first year of the 
system to clear present stocks, and envisage a low quota thereafter to handle 
ivory as it accumulates to Government. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

Natural Mortality: 25 50 6 300 
Control: 150 300 10 3000 
Confiscations: 125 250 6 1500 

TOTALS 300 600 4800 
Surplus (1986 only): 5 000 6 30 000 
Assume 300 tusks used internally at 6 kg - 1.8 tonnes. 
Assume 300 tusks exported at 10 kg - 3.0 tonnes. 
Sustainable quota: 600 tusks weighing 4.8 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 5 000 tusks weighing 30 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 300 tusks weighing 1.8 tonnes. 

Export quota 1986: 5 300 tusks weighing 33 tonnes. 

The Sudan population could probably stand a higher offtake, but in this case I 
am anticipating the wishes of the authorities who are anxious to restore the 
status of the population which has been heavily hunted in recent years, and 
consists mainly of young animals. Caldwell (1984) states that some 90% of 
exports had a mean tusk weight of 3.9 kg. 

Tanzania Population: 216 000 

The level of exploitation appears to be fairly low relative to the rest of 
Africa, although the quantity involved in the illegal trade is not known. 
Tanzania's total annual exports have been of the order of 10 tonnes in recent 
years. A feature of the Tanzanian quota is the large proportion of animals 
shot on control - in this respect it differs from all other countries. 

Confiscations and recovery of tusks from natural mortality by Government are 
relatively low. 


I have put together a "maximum" quota which increases exploitation in a number 
of areas. I have reduced the number of animals shot on control and replaced 
this with a quota of animals cropped for economic reasons (legalised poaching) 
in the areas outside National Parks. The mean tusk weight for such cropped 
animals is assumed to be 15 kg because of the relatively high conservation 
status in the country. I have also included a culling quota for Ruaha National 
Park, following Barnes (1983). Barnes recommended a far higher number than is 
shown below, but later felt that illegal hunting might perform the necessary 
reduction, I have taken the approach that a lower number taken officially in 
several successive years might be a better solution. The amount consumed by 
the carving industries inside the country is based on a figure of some 7.5 
tonnes for Dar es Salaam (Ivory Room data) and an equivalent amount for the 
remainder of the country. There are no private ivory dealers: all tusks for 
the internal industry come from Government sales. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

Natural Mortality: 200 400 5 2 000 
Cropping: 1 000 2 000 15 30 000 
Controls: 500 1 000 10 10 000 
Confiscations: 300 600 5 3 000 
Surplus: 250 500 10 5 000 

TOTALS 2 250 4 500 50 000 
Surplus(1986-88 only):3 000 5 000 3} 15 000 

(Culling operations) 

Assume 2 000 tusks used internally at 7.5 kg - 15 tonnes. 
Assume 2 500 tusks exported at 14 kg - 35 tonnes 

Sustainable quota: 4 500 tusks weighing 50 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 5 000 tusks weighing 15 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 2 000 tusks weighing 15 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 7 500 tusks weighing 50 tonnes. 

Excluding culling operations the quota is some 1% of the population, to which 
can be added a small percentage for sport hunting. 

Uganda Population: 2 000 

A 2.5% yield will give 100 tusks which I assume would be consumed internally. 


Angola Population: 12 400 

The current situation in Angola is uncertain. It is perhaps best to make an 
allowance of about 2% to take effect when events return to normal. This gives 
250 animals (500 tusks). Assuming 100 tusks are retained in the country (6 kg 
mean tusk weight), this gives an export quota of some 400 tusks (4 tonnes at 

10 kg). 

Sustainable quota; 500 tusks weighing 4.6 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986: zero 

Internal industry: 100 tusks weighing 0.6 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 400 tusks weighing 4.0 tonnes. 


Botswana Population: 45 300 

Elephant populations are increasing in Botswana. Hunting was banned two years 
ago, and the chief source of ivory is from confiscations. As for Tanzania, I 
have estimated a "maximum" quota, which includes the possibility of culling in 
Chobe National Park, and a cropping quota to satisfy rural needs. Whilst 
Government is not holding any significant surplus of ivory at the moment, the 
possibility exists of stocks in private hands which have not been taken into 
account below. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 
Natural Mortality: 50 100 10 1 000 
Cropping: 250 500 10 5 000 
Control: 50 100 10 1 000 
Confiscations: 150 300 \ 10 3 000 
TOTALS 500 1 000 10 000 
Surplus(1986-87 only):2 000 3 400 3 10 200 

(Culling operations) 

Assume 200 tusks used internally at 10 kg - 2 tonnes. 
Assume 800 tusks exported at 10 kg - 8 tonnes. 

Sustainable quota: 1 000 tusks weighing 10 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 3 400 tusks weighing 10.2 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 200 tusks weighing 2 tonnes, 
Export quota 1986: 4 400 tusks weighing 18.2 tonnes. 

Excluding culling operations the quota is some 1.1% of the population. 
Malawi Population: 2 400 

Malawi consumes most of its production in its own carving industry. The 
country might require a quota for occasional large amounts of confiscated 
ivory, but it would prefer to advise this as and when necessary. A 2% offtake 
would give 100 tusks. 

Sustainable quota: 100 tusks weighing 1 tonne. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: 100 tusks weighing 1 tonne. 
Export quota 1986: zero 

Mozambique Population 27 400 

As in Angola, it is difficult to plan for Mozambique in the current security 
situation. I have assumed a quota of 500 tusks (1.8%), all of which would be 

Sustainable quota: 500 tusks weighing 5 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: zero 
Export quota 1986: 500 tusks weighing 5 tonnes. 


Namibia Population: 2 000 

A quota of 2.5% has been estimated. Tusks from Namibia have a lower weight 
than average. 

Sustainable quota: 100 tusks weighing 0.5 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: zero 
Internal industry: zero 
Export quota 1986: 100 tusks weighing 0.5 tonnes. 

South Africa Population: 8 000 

The population in Kruger National Park is kept more or less constant at 8 000 
animals, entailing an annual offtake of about 3%. Occasional large tusks 
accrue from natural mortality. A significant amount of the ivory is used in 
the carving industries inside the country. I have allowed for some 10 tonnes 
of ivory stocks which may be held by private dealers. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 
Natural Mortality: 25 50 20 1 000 
Control: 25 50 6 300 
Culling: 250 400 3 1 200 
TOTALS 300 500 2 500 

Assume 450 tusks used internally at 3.3 kg - 1.5 tonnes, 
Assume 50 tusks exported at 20 kg - 1.0 tonnes. 

Stocks held by private dealers: 1 000 tusks at 10 kg - 10 tonnes. 

Sustainable quota: 500 tusks weighing 2.5 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 1000 tusks weighing 10 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 450 tusks weighing 1.5 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986; 1050 tusks weighing 11 tonnes. 

Zambia Population: 58 000 

If the population data are correct in 1981 and 1985, Zambia has lost 100 000 
elephant in the space of 4 years. This seems unlikely. The Hong Kong trade 
figures for 1983 show that Zambia exported only 10 tonnes, and Zambia's own 
statistics for the same year show 10 tonnes exported to the U.K. which may 
have been re-exported to Hong Kong. Stocks on hand in the Government store at 
the end of 1982 were 10 tonnes, so that this is consistent. One can only 
conclude that there are either more elephant in Zambia than 58 000 or that 
earlier population estimates were too high or that massive illegal hunting 
involving some 30 000 elephant per year has escaped detection. The last 
possibility is the least credible: firstly, the numbers are beyond the 
capability of highly professional culling teams, and secondly it would be 
almost impossible to conceal a slaughter of such magnitude. I would opt for an 
explanation that the population is slightly higher than estimated, and perhaps 
earlier estimates were too high. 

Nevertheless, all is not well with Zambia's elephant population. The largest 
part of Zambian exports comes from confiscated ivory, and if the record held 
in the ivory store can be taken as a representative sample, then it appears 
that Zambia's ivory harvest has changed recently from a few large tusks to 
Many small tusks. This situation suggests the scenario depicted by Pilgram and 
Western (1984) of a constant (or increasing) annual harvest with selective 
elimination of the larger animals. 


1980 1984 

No. Wt. Av.Wt. No. Wt. Av.Wt. 
Grade I (tusks over 10 kg) 215) S42e Wa2orn2 99 1134 11.5 
Grade II (6-10 kg) 181 1710 9.4 298 1992 6.7 
Grade III (less than 6 kg) 90 343 3.8 2996 7388 25h 

In 1980 the bulk of the stock was made up of 215 tusks averaging 25 kg. In 
1984 this had changed to 2996 tusks averaging 2.5 kg. Within each grade the 
mean tusk weight has changed. Grade I tusks are now fewer and hardly exceed 
10 kg; Grade II tusks which used to lie close to the upper limit of 10 kg 
average 6.7 kg, and Grade III tusks are now 2.5 kg versus 3.8 kg four years 

Zambia introduced a hunting ban in 1982 and revoked all carving industries and 
dealers' licences in 1984. Accepting the current population estimate, the 
following is a maximum quota estimate. The cropping quota is based on a 1% 
harvest of populations outside the National Parks (14 000 animals), control 
hunting is low (the cropping quota should include most control hunting), and 
confiscations are reduced (legalised cropping should reduce illegal hunting). 
The average weight of confiscations is based on the 1984 data above. 

Animals Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

Natural Mortality: 10 20 5 : 100 
Cropping: 190 380 10 3 800 
Control; 50 100 10 1 000 
Confiscations: 1 250 2 500 3 7 500 

TOTALS 1 500 3 000 12 400 
Surplus (1986 only): 3 400 3 10 400 

(present stocks) 

Assume 1 000 tusks used internally at 2.4 kg - 2.4 tonnes. 
Assume 2 000 tusks exported at 5 kg - 10.0 tonnes. 

Sustainable quota: 3 000 tusks weighing 12.4 tonnes. 
Surplus 1986 only: 3 400 tusks weighing 10.4 tonnes. 
Internal industry: 1 000 tusks weighing 2.4 tonnes. 
Export quota 1986: 5 400 tusks weighing 20.4 tonnes. 

The quota is some 2.5% of the population caused largely by the amount of 
confiscations. A lower quota would be preferable, but this can only be 
achieved by reducing illegal hunting. 

Zimbabwe Population: 49 000 

Zimbabwe decided in 1983 to reduce its elephant population over a number of 
years to some 33 000 for conservation reasons. Some 6 000 elephant were 
removed in 1984, and 7 000 are scheduled to be removed in 1985. The following 
quota is based on a sustained yield from the final population (33 000), which 
includes provision for culling an annual population increment of about 3% and 
a large temporary surplus due to the major population reduction. 



Control: 100 
Confiscations: 100 
Culling: 1 000 

TOTALS 1 200 

Surplus(1986-87 only):7 000 
(major culling) 



Tusks Av.Wt. Total Wt. 

200 10 
200 10 
1 700 3 
2 100 
1 900 3 

2 000 
2 000 
5 100 

9 100 

35 800 

All tusks from the final sustained yield will be used internally. 

Sustainable quota: 2 100 
Surplus 1986 only: 11 900 
Internal industry: 2 100 
Export quota 1986: 11 900 

The quota is some 3.6% of 
ensure no further increase, 


weighing 4.3 
weighing 35.8 
weighing 4.3 
weighing 35.8 

a final population 


of 33 000 animals, 


which should 


Quota derived from individual countries 

The totals which follow from the preceding section are as follows: 

A long term harvest based on a strategy which uses 1-3% of the population in 
the various producing countries, and which will allow populations to increase 
slowly, is 227.8 tonnes arising from 29 000 tusks from 14 700 animals. This 
amounts to 1.2% of Africa's elephant population of 1 183 900 animals. 

Of the above amount, 84.1 tonnes (14 250 tusks) is required for internal 
consumption in Africa's carving industries. 

The balance of 143.7 tonnes (14 750 tusks) is available for export. 
In addition to the above, there should be a further 185.4 tonnes (45 576 
tusks) which can be added to the export quota in the first quota year. This 

arises from present stocks of ivory being held on the continent and proposed 
culling operations which will not be sustained. 

Rounding the above figures: 
deduct CONSUMPTION WITHIN AFRICA ............. 14 000 TUSKS ( 84 TONNES) 
add TEMPORARY SURPLUS (1986) ........2++++- 46 000 TUSKS (185 TONNES) 

EXPORT QUOTA (1986) .........2eeeeeeeee- 61 000 TUSKS (329 TONNES) 

Quota derived directly from the total population estimate 

Assuming a round figure of one million elephants in Africa, the outcomes of 
different harvesting levels can be calculated. I have used a mean tusk weight 
of 6 kg (Caldwell, 1984: from the combined imports to Japan and Hong Kong in 

1% harvest gives 10 000 animals or 20 000 tusks weighing about 180 tonnes, 
2% harvest gives 20 000 animals or 40 000 tusks weighing about 240 tonnes. 
3% harvest gives 30 000 animals or 60 000 tusks weighing about 360 tonnes. 

From the earlier arguments in this chapter it should be apparent that to 
exceed a 3% harvest under the present methods of selective hunting from 
elephant populations in Africa will lead to a lower harvest in the long 
term. A harvest of 5% under selective hunting might be sustained, but would be 
highly undesirable. It would lead to further reductions in the mean tusk 
weight and bring populations to a vulnerable point where the slightest 
increase would precipitate a major downward trend. Furthermore, not all of 
Africa's elephant populations are available for this form of exploitation: 
many are in National Parks where the declared policies do not allow harvesting. 

The decline in mean tusk weight in the ivory trade is a clear indication that 
a directional process is taking place. Parker and Bradley Martin (1983) 
examined the implications of this decline for the years 1979-82, and concluded 
that it was greatly influenced by events in the Sudan. Their figures for the 
mean tusk weight are slightly higher than those computed by Caldwell (1984) 
who shows a further low mean tusk weight of 5.9 kg in 1983. However, this 
syndrome can no longer be attributed to Sudan only: many other countries are 
suffering a similar decline [e.g. Zambia (see previous section), and C.A.R. 
(Froment, 1985)]. This suggests that the upper age classes in elephant 
populations are being exploited beyond a sustainable level (Pilgram et al., 

Strategies to improve the situation 

At the conclusion of the models which I discussed earlier in this chapter, I 
mentioned that the set of parameters which fitted all aspects of the 1983 
situation in the ivory trade was as follows. The current population should be 
about 800 000 animals declining at a rate of 1.8%, of which 70 000 animals are 
being harvested to produce some 750 tonnes of ivory at a mean tusk weight of 
6 kg. At the current rate of exploitation the population will crash very 
quickly (10 years). [SEE FOOTNOTE] 

The next logical question for modelling is “to what level must the harvest be 
reduced in order to reverse the decline?". I have tested this out by switching 
to a new level of harvesting at the point in the model when it has reached the 
1983 conditions. I find that it can just sustain a harvest of 380 tonnes but 
takes some 50 years to recover or stabilise at the new rate. At lower harvest 
levels, if we take the time to recover to one million animals as a yardstick, 
a yield of 350 tonnes will allow recovery in 25 years, 300 tonnes in 10 years, 
250 tonnes in 7 years, and 200 tonnes in 5 years. In the last case the rate of 
growth of the population when it passes the one million mark is over 4%. At 
this stage culling strategies might be considered. The necessary level to 
which the offtake must be reduced in the case of the 300 tonne harvest is 
26 000 animals, and in the case of the 200 tonne harvest it is 18 000 animals 
- which is more or less 1.5 - 2.5% of the population. 

Now, the foregoing is all very well but it assumes that Africa's elephant 
populations constitute one large herd which is being subjected to the same 
harvesting conditions throughout. This is not so. Populations vary from the 
well conserved to those in dire trouble. The master plans for protected areas 
in many countries do not provide for a high offtake of ivory to satisfy the 
trade. What we are watching in modelling the ivory trade statistics is nothing 
resembling the true process in Africa. If some populations are well conserved 
it means that others must be contributing more than their share to the 
harvest. This indeed seems to be the case. The 750 tonnes per annum of raw 
ivory is coming from a series of effective extinctions of elephant populations 
in different countries in Africa. It appears as if Sudan, Chad, Central 
African Republic and the Congo who have recently exported massive amounts of 
ivory are going through this process. 

If the above is true then it is not sensible to look at Africa as a whole in 
setting a global ivory quota as I have done at the start of this section: the 
only logical course to follow is that of considering the individual countries. 
Some have populations in healthy states and can contribute a large amount to 
the ivory trade: others need a total moratorium on all hunting. When all 
countries are lumped together the overall mean figures suggest that an offtake 
not exceeding 3% of the total population is as far as harvests should be taken. 

The situation would be greatly improved with positive management strategies. I 
have shown that at the level of one million animals it is not difficult to 
produce 750 tonnes of ivory on a sustained basis, but it does mean adopting 
scientific strategies of culling as opposed to the present uncontrolled 
harvest. Pilgram and Western's (1984) findings that the natural mortality of a 
stable population is a maximum harvest may also be applicable in protected 

NOTE: Since this report was completed in March 1985, Caldwell (1985) has 

revised the volume of ivory which entered the international trade in 1983 to 
644 tonnes and the figure for 1984 is 357 tonnes. The estimated mean tusk 
weight is now higher at 7.2 kg. 


It may seem impractical to implement either a culling strategy or that of 
waiting for natural mortality to produce the harvest from stable populations. 
The culling option will be unacceptable to many government authorities and 
private conservation organisations; the non-hunting strategy may be acceptable 
to both of these groups but totally rejected by the poacher. It is essential 
to define objectives for the management of elephant populations, and such 
objectives must be within the realms of feasibility to achieve. But one thing 
is certain: whether the objective is to promote elephants for tourist viewing, 
or to maximise a return of ivory for trade, the present system of management 
in general in Africa is achieving neither of those objectives. Pilgram and 
Western (1984) point out that a substantial decline in the number of elephants 
is to the long term advantage of no one involved in the ivory trade, whether 
it is the producers, traders or artisans carving ivory. Equally well one might 
add that it is not the wish of governments and conservationists. 

Broader issues 

Parker and Bradley Martin (1983) argue that human increase is the driving 
factor determining the decline of elephant. With a human population growth 
rate of about 3%, elephant range is declining steadily. I do not argue with 
this: the question is whether elephant populations are declining faster than 
they need to in order to make land available for humans. In the Central 
African Republic an area of some 200 000 sq km in the east of the country is 
virtually uninhabited, yet the elephant are being heavily hunted throughout 
the area. Gangs of Sudanese travel great distances on horseback to hunt 
elephant, and poachers camps are established in the depths of the area for 
Months at a time. The exports from C.A.R. in recent years are sufficient 
evidence of a rate of exploitation far exceeding human population growth. The 
Congo and Gabon are large countries with very low populations (under 2 million) 
in relatively large areas (over 250 000 sq km). Indeed, in these countries the 
net flux of humans is into urban areas and rural densities are declining. The 
mere fact that illegal hunting takes place in certain National Parks is an 
indication in general that forces in addition to a need for land are driving 
the process. 

Perhaps it is a mistake to separate the simple land hunger aspect of the 
problem from the broader issues of the economic situation. With the population 
increase in Africa accompanied by economic decline, there has arisen a large 
sector of the population who are in severe financial straits and who have to 
be opportunistic for survival. Ivory provides a partial solution to their 
problem. Better managed, it could provide far more. Parker and Bradley Martin 
argue that the future of the elephant lies in a series of National Parks, and 
it may very well be that the present situation is leading to that end. 
However, it is a pity that it should be so in large parts of Africa where 
there are adequate areas to support elephant profitably for many years to come 
without conflict with humans. 

The economic arguments for conserving elephant should not be advanced too far. 
Elephant farming as a form of land use is not compatible with human 
agriculture and generally not as profitable, particularly when the current 
government policies in Africa are aimed at a state monopoly of all wildlife. 
Perhaps the only place outside of National Parks where there is a justifiable 
role for elephant is in marginal land, and in areas which are not yet required 
for human settlement. Pilgram and Western (1984) argue that present strategies 


for harvesting elephant are economically unsound, but care should be exercised 
here too. The logical conclusion to such arguments is given by Clark (1976). 
Elephant can be regarded as a living form of capital (large grey dollar notes) 
and as long as they are allowed to roam free outside of a bank, the maximum 
return on such capital is about 5% - their rate of increase. It appears sound 
economics to take all the capital in one fell swoop and put it in a bank where 
it will earn 10% interest, rather than let it continue to be unprofitably 
invested. Certainly this is the short term view of the poacher who competes 
with other poachers for the resource. However, slick as Clark's argument is, 
it does not fully cover all aspects. It ignores the matter of capital 
appreciation: dollar notes which are sitting in a bank vault do not appreciate 
as capital, whereas the elephant population which is alive and using the land 
does. The living asset is similar in some ways to the ownership of a house; it 
provides a real security which defies economic fluctuations. It ignores also 
the new cost of a substitute for the product, and if a substitute cannot be 
found, then cost must be measured in loss of employment of people dependent on 
the resource. In general, bank rates are lower than inflation rates so that 
any apparent improvement in form of interest on capital may be illusory. The 
centralisation of capital caused by putting the value of elephant in a bank is 
not an economic improvement in terms of distribution of wealth. Where the 
living resource could provide dividends to many people, dead it benefits only 
a few. Finally, the aesthetic value of living elephant has been left out of 
the equation, and this too has a real worth. 

All governments in Africa have declared policies to conserve elephant, which 
are generally not founded on economic theories. The quota system has arisen 
from within Africa as one step towards achieving that goal. It would be naive 
to think that overnight the mere declaration of a figure is going to save the 
lives of any elephant. It represents rather a wish to see a certain state of 
Management in place. I find myself caught on the horns of a dilemma in having 
to recommend a certain quota for Africa. I have been counselled that if the 
quota is too low it will achieve nothing but to send the trade underground: 
equally well it is against all management principles to recommend too high a 
quota if the estimates for elephant numbers are correct and the present age 
structures of populations are as unbalanced as the evidence suggests. The only 
valid approach I feel I can take is to recognise the sincerity of the 
government technical authorities in each country in their stated wishes to set 
a quota which will not overexploit elephant, and recommend to the best of my 
technical ability the upper limits of such a quota. 

I don't believe it is possible to reach the ideal management programme in one 
or two years and for that reason I have recommended a gradual reduction in the 
quota as the age structures of the populations are restored and the yield of 
ivory increases, I have pointed out an alternative management programme which 
will produce more ivory in the long term by keeping elephant populations in a 
state of maximum growth and culling them to prevent their numbers from 
exceeding a certain limit. 

What will be the outcome at the end of 1986 if, as a result of declaring 
quotas which are far lower than the amount of ivory actually harvested, quotas 
are greatly exceeded or there are large stocks of ivory waiting for the 
following year to obtain permits from the governments concerned? This assumes 
that the owners of the ivory have not already found an alternative way to 
export it. Perhaps the question should be asked in another way. What should a 
government do when confronted with a situation which conflicts with its own 
declared policy? Either it must implement the policy using the full force of 
the legal system at its disposal, or it must recognise the impossibility of 
implementing its policy and look for alternative methods to achieve the same 


goal in a manner more acceptable to its population at large. This is discussed 
further in the next chapter on administration. 

I am deeply conscious of the dangers inherent in perpetuating a sense of 
crisis in this volatile, highly charged issue of the ivory trade. Parker 
(1982) has pointed out the considerable damage which has been done to 
conservation by such actions. I prefer to align myself with the statement made 
by Pilgram and Western (1984a): “If it would be premature to view our results 
with alarm, it would nevertheless be unreasonable not to view them with 
concern." In the countries I have visited, I don't believe there is much 
danger of extinction of elephant, even locally, in the immediate future. 
Parker (1984) has pointed out that even in those countries where elephant 
should theoretically be extinct on the basis of human densities, some survive 
in refuges and appear to be finally exempt from man's predation. I feel 
strongly, however, that a great deal more could be done to improve the 
management of those elephant surviving in countries which have not yet reached 
the point where human densities exclude extensive elephant ranges. 



This chapter deals with administrative aspects of the ivory trade with 
particular reference to the proposed quota system. I have allowed myself to 
address some administrative matters outside the confines of the quota system 
where I believe that these are important to elephant conservation. The chapter 
is divided into three main sections: 


- which deals with procedures necessary for the export of ivory from 
producer countries to other continents and other countries in Africa. 

- which deals with internal administrative procedures which will not be 
addressed by the rules binding CITES Party states, but are nevertheless 
important to the working of the ivory trade and the quota system, 


- which is a report on my visit to each country, and deals mainly with the 
specific policies and administrative practices of those countries. 


This chapter has been revised to take into account the results of the 
proceedings of the 5th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES which 
was held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in April/May 1985. The original report 
was presented at the meeting. 



Before discussing administrative procedures it is worth considering the 
various ways that illegal ivory may arise, and the extent to which the quota 
system may reduce these. Many people feel. that the international trade in 
ivory is the major factor responsible for the decline in elephant numbers, and 
that, if this could be brought under control, the future of elephant would be 
assured. This is not necessarily so. 

a) Elephant may be illegally killed for ivory which is sold inside the 
producer country and used in the domestic carving industry. 

b) Illegal ivory may be exported without documentation, either bypassing 
customs or through corrupt officials, and it may enter the importing 
country in the same manner. Export of ivory in diplomatic baggage is an 
example of this. 

c) Illegal ivory may receive CITES permits from a corrupt official in a 
producer country and be exported under the quota system. To some extent 
the referral procedures agreed upon in Buenos Aires may address this 

d) If an inflated quota is submitted by a producer country it may “launder” 
excess ivory from neighbouring countries and/or its own ivory which 
exceeds any reasonable amount from management. This would require a 
generally corrupt agency immune to world opinion. 

e) Illegal ivory may be used for a barter trade within Africa, with no 
immediate concern for international export (see Individual Countries — 
Malawi, this chapter). 

f) Elephant may be illegally killed for meat or protection of crops and the 
tusks arise as a totally secondary issue. 

The quota system will have little or no effect on any of the above causes of 
elephant mortality. Only law enforcement and responsible administration within 
the producer countries can reduce this illegal traffic. 

The area within which the quota system may be most effective in limiting the 
illegal trade will be in those cases where the illegal traders are attempting 
to operate within the existing framework of rules for export established 
within the CITES forun,. 



Most of the following procedures are contained in the Resolution of the 
Conference of the Parties (Appendix 11), and where this is the case I have 
referred to the Resolution as Conf. 5.12 and used the reference letter for the 
particular paragraph (e.g. Conf. 5.12 - a). A further document which enlarges 
on the role of the CITES Secretariat, Doc. 5.22.1 (Rev.), is given in the same 

1. Ivory producing countries to set quotas (Conf. 5.12 - a, c & e) 

All countries approved of this proposal and understood that according to 
the Resolution they would be required to advise the CITES Secretariat in 
writing of their quotas by 1 December prior to the start of the quota 
year, It was agreed that if the quota was not submitted by the deadline 
ivory would not be exported until the condition had been satisfied. 


Only countries with elephant populations to have quotas (Conf. 5.12 - a) 

This is implicit in the above statement but I have deliberately emphasized 
it separately. Every country I visited felt very strongly that a country 
without elephant could not have a quota. Burundi was referred to time and 
time again as a country with no elephant which laundered ivory from its 
neighbours. This would apply not only to African countries but also to 
free ports (such as Jeddah and Djibouti). Such ports accept illegal 
ivory with forged certificates of origin from producer countries and grant 
export permits. Sudan has been a victim of such practices, 

3. Quotas to be stated as a number of tusks (Conf. 5.12 - a) 

This is a key point. One country which I visited felt the quota should be 
set by weight but finally agreed to a number of tusks. The purpose of the 
quota system is to limit the number of animals dying annually and clearly 
this must be done on the basis of a simple index such as tusks. The system 
provides the incentive to export only tusks of a high weight in order to 
maximise the earnings from a given quota, and this should be beneficial 
for elephant populations. 

4, Export permits from countries with quota (Conf. 5.12 - b) 

Export permits for raw ivory from such countries will be regarded as a 
necessary and sufficient condition for their import into non-producer 
countries. This clause is specifically directed at countries who attempt 
to introduce legislation affecting ivory imports which is over and above 
the requirement established in the CITES forum. All countries I visited 
deprecated the recent moves by the EEC and Australia to introduce internal 
legislation over and above the requirements established by CITES and felt 
that it weakened the whole CITES structure. 

5. Role of the CITES Secretariat (Conf. 5.12 - d) 
a) Monitoring the Ivory Trade 

The quota system will not be workable unless the entry of tusks into the 
trade is continuously monitored throughout each quota year. It would be 




impractical to expect that customs offices or CITES Management Authorities 
could effectively implement the system at the entry points to importing 
countries. It would be of little value to wait until the end of the year 
to examine the final export quotas as indicated by annual reports of Party 
states. The Ivory Unit proposed in Doc. 5.22.1 (Rev.) by the CITES 
Secretariat may solve the monitoring difficulties. A central data base 
will be maintained which contains the numbers of all tusks in trade and 
the Unit will be notified by exporting countries of full permit details 
whenever a shipment of ivory is authorised for export. 

Referral Procedures 

The referral procedures incorporated into Doc. 5.22.1 (Rev.) should 
greatly reduce the number of cases of ivory shipments entering importing 
countries with incorrect or fraudulent documentation. There have been 
several recent instances where ivory shipments have entered consumer 
countries on export permits not granted by the CITES Management 
Authorities in the country of origin. I exclude legitimate cases of 
re-export from this. I was informed of cases where export permits for 
Sudanese ivory were granted in a free port on the strength of false 
certificates of origin. There have also been cases where export permits 
issued by the CITES Management Authority in the country of origin for 
small amounts of raw ivory have been altered to cover large shipments. 
Sudan has one clearly documented case of a permit for 2 tonnes being 
altered to 62 tonnes. 

The measures agreed upon by the producer Party states at Buenos Aires 
could limit further occurrence of such cases. Copies of all export permits 
issued by producer countries will be sent to the CITES Ivory Unit and to 
the CITES Management Authority in the importing country before the 
shipment in question is admitted to the importing country. This will allow 
permits to be validified before a shipment is cleared by customs, and 
should deal with cases where export permits are issued by a free port 
without the knowledge of the Management Authorities. 

No importation should be allowed without the prior approval of the CITES 
Management Authority in the exporting country, either directly or via the 
CITES Secretariat. This might seem to contradict paragraph b) in 
Conf. 5.12 covering export permits, but all that is intended is a system 
of cross-checking prior to completion of import formalities. Such a 
process of referral need not delay the import significantly if it is taken 
into account at the time a private dealer initiates import procedures and 
if the flow of documentation and information is in accordance with the 
Measures agreed in Buenos Aires. The practice is used by many countries 
for all exports of live animals. 

All producer states were adamant that the role of the Secretariat in 
handling referral procedures should be primarily that of assisting 
producer countries. Any connotation of the Ivory Unit regulating the trade 
was not acceptable. 

Circulation of a List of Quotas 

The Secretariat will circulate a list of quotas to all Party states early 
in the quota year. I found that most producer countries were anxious to 
see the quotas set by other producer countries. There is concern in the 
central African states that high or low quotas set by their neighbours 
will influence the movement of illegal ivory between states. 



Quota System Manual 

I asked in each country whether it was felt desirable to submit quotas to 
the CITES Secretariat using standardised forms and a methodology such as 
that provided in this report. Most countries approved of the idea, and 
were not averse to having their quota calculations open for inspection. 
The majority of countries asked that the methodology was written in the 
form of a handbook for their reference at the time of setting quotas. 

The Secretariat has agreed to prepare a manual for circulation to all 
Party states (and non-Parties) which outlines guidelines for setting 
quotas and procedures to be followed for trade in ivory following the 
acceptance of Resolution Conf. 5.12. 

Marking of tusks (Conf. 5.12 - f) 

More than half of the countries visited were not marking tusks in 
accordance with Resolution Conf. 3.12 which specifies that metal punches 
Must be used to stamp the code letters for the country of origin, the 
serial number of the tusk, the year of export, and the weight of the tusk 
at the lip line of the tusk and this should be indicated with a flash of 
colour. Many were allowing the export of totally unmarked tusks, or tusks 
which had been marked by private exporters rather than government 

In discussions with numerous people on the subject I found many who were 
of the opinion that an indelible felt tip pen provided as good a mark as 
that of a metal punch die and was considerably easier to read. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of Conf. 3.12 for metal punch dies, I feel 
that clear markings which provide the information demanded by Conf. 3.12 
should be accepted. [This is not to say that I approve of the disregard of 
the stipulations of Conf. 3.12: I feel that countries who are not abiding 
by the agreement should come forward with a resolution to alter it.] 

Unmarked or irregularly marked tusks should not be accepted by any 
importing country. A key feature of the proposals arising from Buenos 
Aires is the maintenance of a data bank by the CITES Secretariat which 
contains the registration numbers of all tusks in trade. Without a 
properly implemented marking system adhered to by all producer and 
non-producer countries which hold stocks of raw ivory the quota system 
cannot be effectively implemented. 

Importing countries cannot be expected to know which tusks have been 
marked by the CITES management authorities of the exporting country and 
which have been illegally marked by a private citizen. There is a need to 
develop a specific mark for tusks, in addition to the information required 
under Conf. 3.12. This mark, be it a distinctive punch die with a symbol 
peculiar to the country, or a transfer which cannot be removed, should be 
held only by the management authority and unavailable to all other people. 

The suggestion has been made that the number of tusks in the quota for 4 
country be included in the marking on each tusk. After due consideration 
and discussions with many people I do not recommend this. Firstly, it 
demands a large amount of work to mark the same quota number on hundreds 
of tusks. Secondly, where ivory is exported first to an intermediate 
country and held until a later quota year this will lead to confusion and 
possible rejection of legal shipments. In countries where tusks can be 
legitimately exported from more than one centre, at the start of the quota 


year blocks of numbers will have to be allocated to each of such centres 
for their use during the quota year. If the purpose of marking the quota 
on the tusk were to monitor the progress in exports during the year, then 
the above situation would render the exercise meaningless: it would be 
impossible to tell from the number stamped on the tusk how many tusks had 
been exported at any stage during the year. 

I have considered systems which include additional data on tusks such as a 
code letter for cause of death and a code indicating whether the tusk is 
whole or a piece of a tusk, Richard Bell (pers. comm.) has developed this 
further with ideas which could provide a large amount of information for 
monitoring and administration of the ivory trade both internally and 
internationally. However, it is largely the responsibility of producer 
countries to extract such information as part of the quota setting system 
(this is discussed further in the next section). There is very little 
point in developing more elaborate marking systems until all countries are 
implementing the recommendations of Conf. 3.12. 

Date stamped on tusks and date of export permit 

Importing countries should only accept shipments where the date of the 
export permit coincides with the year of the quota established for the 
country concerned (Conf. 5.12 - g). 

An important point arises here. In many countries tusks are routinely 
stamped according to CITES Conf. 3.12 as soon as they are acquired. This 
means that they may be stamped with a year which is prior to the current 
quota year and a number which bears no relation to the quota. Many of 
these tusks may never be exported but will enter the internal market. If 
the quota system is to work it will be impractical to require that every 
tusk exported is stamped with the current year and a serial number lower 
than the quota for that year. 

The present tusk marking system should be applied as it has been since 
1981, and the number marked on the tusk will bear no relevance to the 
quota system. The data bank maintained by the CITES Ivory Unit will be the 
main check on duplicate or fraudulent tusk numbers. 

Re-export of raw ivory 

It is important to define clearly at what stage a tusk shall be deemed to 
have been exported. The following options exist: 

When it has left the country of origin. 
When it has left Africa. 
When it has reached the country in which it will be worked. 

The only practical option is the first. The restrictions of the proposed 
quota system will only be applied once and that is on the first occasion 
when the tusk leaves the country of origin and enters another country, 
wherever that country is located in the world. All other movements of the 
tusk will be treated as re-export and re-imports. 

Consider the hypothetical situation where an ivory dealer in South Africa 
imports a tusk from Zimbabwe and satisfies all procedures required in a 
given quota year (say 1986). If the dealer then decides to hold that tusk 
for several years before re-exporting it to Hong Kong, what requirements 
under the quota system for the year concerned (say 1989) should he be 



required to satisfy? The tusk clearly should not be counted as part of the 
quota for Zimbabwe in 1989, and neither should it be part of the South 
African quota for 1989. The dealer should only be required to prove that 
the tusk was acquired from Zimbabwe legitimately in the year of the 1986 
quota. For this he would require copies of the original export and import 
permits. The same would apply to any further re-exports of the tusk. There 
is the danger this may be used as a method to export illegal ivory. The 
responsibility lies with the government office handling the export to 
check that the original documents are not false, and that those original 
documents have not been used for a prior export. If there are any doubts 
about the export, the referral procedures discussed in subsection 5 
provide a final check. 

The quota system applied to non-Party states (Conf. 5.12 - h) 

The non-Party states which I visited (Somalia, Ethiopia and Chad) were 
willing to abide by the procedures of the quota system, 

Trade in worked ivory (Conf. 5.12 - j) 

I recommend that CITES abandon all attempts to regulate or monitor the 
import and export of worked ivory, notwithstanding the provision for the 
continuance of the practice in the Resolution of the Conference of the 
Parties. I justify and qualify the recommendation below: 

a) This was recommended by Parker (1979, page 225). 

b) Good law should be workable (CITES Doc. 3.10.4). The present 
procedures for worked ivory are not workable and are resulting in 
much paperwork which contributes little to elephant conservation and 
weakens the effort most needed - the control of the traffic in raw 

c) The control of the worked ivory trade is essentially a domestic 
problem which international legislation cannot address. A country may 
choose to back its internal efforts to regulate the worked ivory 
trade with CITES documentation, but should not expect this to affect 
any other country (e.g. Zimbabwe does this simply to assist tourists 
leaving the country, and to elevate the status of ivory within the 
country). The worked ivory trade can only be controlled within Party 


d) I am aware that one of the chief reasons for continuing to enforce 
controls on the trade in worked ivory is because of the problem with 
ivory from the Asian elephant which is included in CITES Appendix I. 
The above point applies. it is up to the Indian authorities to solve 
the problem internally. Their failure to do so is putting the 
remainder of the world to considerable inconvenience. 

e) The term worked ivory should follow the definitions of Conf. 3.12 and 
not include polished tusks or pieces of ivory which are incompletely 
worked, Private dealers in C.A.R. are exporting small polished tusks 
as “works of art” in order to circumvent their domestic legislation 
which requires that all raw tusks exported weigh more than 10 kg. 
Dealers in Sudan are cutting ivory in small cylinders suitable for 
the manufacture of seals and exporting these as worked ivory to 
circumvent the government ban on raw ivory exports from Sudan. 




Minimum size of tusk in the trade 

There should be no restriction on the minimum size of tusk admitted to the 
international trade. Whilst I appreciate that efforts to introduce this 
limit are motivated by a desire to conserve elephant, it is not practical 
for the following reasons: 

a) Certain countries obtain tusks from all age classes of elephant 
through legitimate culling programmes, and often prefer to export 
such tusks rather than have the problem of monitoring their progress 
through the internal carving industry within their own countries. 

b) Animals with small tusks die naturally. 

c) Certain countries have banned all ivory dealing and carving within 
their borders and have the limited options of destroying such tusks 
or exporting them. 

d) A significant sector of the worked ivory industry in consumer 
countries deals exclusively with small tusks and it seems illogical 
to ignore the market which they provide. 

e) Placing a limit on the size of tusk which can be exported is unlikely 
to produce the desired effect - that only elephants with tusks larger 
than that size will be killed. In all the central African states 
which I visited small tusks are used in the domestic carving 
industries and such tusks are largely illegally obtained. The 
international trade cannot address this issue: it is solely dependent 
on the internal administration and law enforcement of the producer 
countries concerned. 

f) Many producer countries have set a limit on the minimum size of tusk 
themselves, both for hunting and for export. This is the only 
practical way in which a threshold size of tusk can be enforced. 

Export of small tusks and pieces of ivory 

In all countries I visited there was general agreement that it was 
impractical to stamp small tusks and chips of ivory. Frequently the small 
tusks turn into ivory chips when they are subjected to the impact of the 
metal punch die. Such small items are numerous yet add up to a trivial 
part by weight of the international trade. The completion of documentation 
for them is tedious and injustified. All producer countries would prefer 
to see a system which permitted pieces of raw ivory and small tusks which 
weigh less than 1 kg each to be exported in lots with the number of pieces 
and the total weight of the consignment being stated on the export permit. 
Each lot would have to be discrete: that is that for every crate or box 
containing such pieces the weight and number would be given separately 
from any other lot. Both the number of entire tusks and the number of 
broken pieces within the lot would be stated. 

The question then arises of the relation of such batch shipments to the 
export quota of a country. Should each piece in such a lot be deductible 
from the quota? My feeling is that entire tusks should be deducted from 
the quota while broken pieces should not. CITES primary concern is for the 
number of animals dying and a pair of small tusks represents an animal as 
much as a pair of large tusks. To make the system workable, it is probably 
best in the original submission of the quota to the CITES Secretariat to 




specify that over and above the quota of tusks marked in accordance with 
Conf. 3.12, the country concerned intends to export a given number of 
tusks each less than 1 kg in weight which will be exported in a number of 
batches. When such batches arrived at a customs point they would be 
identified by a Lot Number which would be related to the number of lots 
specified in the quota (e.g. “Lot 2 of 7 lots, Kenya quota”). 

Confiscated ivory 

Paragraph b) in Resolution Conf. 5.12 states that “export permits for raw 
ivory issued by producer Parties who have set quotas ... be regarded as 
consistent with the conservation of elephant populations ... in the 
country of origin ...". Confiscated ivory clearly does not accord with 
this provision. Whilst such ivory is obviously the legal property of the 
state once it has been seized, and there is no good reason why the state 
should not export it for gain, it cannot be claimed that the killing of 
the elephant concerned was in any way consistent with conservation. 

In most countries I visited, the largest part of the quota would normally 
come from confiscated ivory. It makes a mockery of the quota setting 
procedure to carefully calculate a number of elephant which will die 
through planned management programmes and then dwarf this with a vast 
number of tusks which will arise from confiscation. 

All countries were aware of the paradox and felt that the solution lay in 
keeping the bulk of confiscated ivory totally separate from the quota as 
advised to the CITES Secretariat. In the quota submission a nominal 
provision would be made for a minimum amount of confiscated ivory that 
could be expected in the course of any given year. Any significant amounts 
over and above this would be exported only after advice to the CITES 
Secretariat that such an amount had been seized and it would be exported 
over and above the existing quota. The Secretariat would approve the 
export and notify the importing country. 

This raises the question in general of procedures to be adopted in the 
case of a country wishing to exceed it its initially stated quota. Legally 
there is nothing to prevent it doing so, and it seems that the best course 
is simply that the country advises the Secretariat when this is about to 
occur, and the appropriate notification is sent to other CITES Parties. 

An alternative would be to demand that all such ivory was held over to the 
following quota year when normal provision could be made for it under the 
heading of “government stocks on hand". The objection to this is the loss 
of funds which would result from such a practice, and no conservation 
gains would be achieved by the action. 

Non-Party states and states not conforming with requirements of CITES 

The provisions of Conf. 5.12 - h), k) & n) were tacitly accepted by all 
States. There may be cases where transit of ivory through non-conforming 
states may be necessary on logistic grounds, and I cannot see the evil in 
this, provided the ivory stays “in bond" during its period of transit. 
Certain countries (e.g. C.A.R.) do not allow the transit of ivory because 
of a loss of potential revenue to the government and insist on the 

consignment being imported and re-exported so that taxes can be levied on 
entry and exit. 





There is a real danger that the introduction of the quota system may 
promote the illegal ivory trade among non-Party states. To circumvent the 
new system it requires both the exporter and importer to ignore 
procedures, and it may well be that certain countries are prepared to do 
this. For example, if Burundi exports illegal ivory to Singapore there is 
little that CITES can do to prevent it. 

Registration of ivory stocks (Conf. 5.12 - 1) 

This is an important procedure necessary to monitor the total annual trade 
in ivory and the amount relating to the quotas of producer countries. The 
volume of ivory in trade in any given year consists of an amount 
originating from animals which died in the current year and an amount from 
animals which died in previous years. In compiling statistics, the most 
difficult part of the exercise is to separate these two categories, 
Clearly, the primary conservation issue is the number of animals which 
have died in the current year, and this cannot be established unless all 
exports and re-exports of old stock can be identified and deducted from 
the overall total indicated by the number of tusks in trade. 

The simplest way to establish the stocks of ivory not pertaining to the 
current quota year is for each country to register such stocks and advise 
the CITES Ivory Unit of the details. Such tusks would have to be marked in 
accordance with Conf. 3.12 before they were exported or re-exported. 

At the Buenos Aires meeting certain non-producing states expressed concern 
about carrying out this task in their countries: however, it was pointed 
out that if all producer countries were expected to comply, there could be 
no good reason for non-producer countries not to do likewise. 

Regional co-operation 

A matter which has plagued the export and import statistics for raw ivory 
has been the illegal export of ivory originating in one country by private 
dealers in another. It is important to move towards a situation where each 
country exports its own ivory - regardless of how great an amount is 
involved. For this reason bans on exports and hunting which drive the 
trade underground should be avoided. 

There are important moves afoot in the central African countries to 
co-operate in preventing the export of each other's ivory, and to mount a 
major anti-poaching campaign which goes beyond the borders of individual 
states. The Ministerial Conference of the Central African States for the 
Wildlife Conservation (MCCASWC) was formed in 1984 and the Secretariat has 
been established in Sudan. MCCASWC is presently raising funds to begin 

Continental co-operation 

It became very clear to me in the course of visiting many countries that 
the price of ivory fluctuates from one part of the continent to another 
and clearly certain states are not realising the true value of the 
commodity. When ivory is being sold on government sales and through 
private tenders at a price below US $ 10/kg something is seriously wrong. 
This is acting against the interests of conservation: the commodity is too 
cheap and as a result does not achieve the administrative attention which 
it is due. Too many animals are being killed to make a sum of money which 
a few animals could provide with proper marketing. 



Africa needs to be seen to be marketing its products competently, 
servicing its wildlife industry with good technical management, and 
policing its own irregularities. If such a situation existed the need for 
the international community to insist upon regulations for the trade in 
ivory would diminish considerably. In future years ivory will become more 
and more scarce and, if the African countries co-operate in keeping the 
price high, the resource can be of a great benefit to each country. 

In each country I visited we discussed the possibility of forming a cartel 
among the producing countries to export ivory to maximum advantage. In the 
diamond industry in Africa all diamonds are marketed by a_ single 
organisation (the Central Selling Organisation) which has been very 
successful in maintaining the value of diamonds for the last century. The 
declared aims of OPEC are to achieve the maximum revenue from oil, and to 
make the resource last a long time. OPEC, to its disadvantage, only 
controls a portion of the world's oil and is always vulnerable to other 
countries' economic moves. The major African ivory resources are now 
effectively limited to about 13 countries, and if these countries could 
"get their act together” they could present a formidable front to the 
ivory consuming nations, 

A possible structure for an Ivory Producer's Export Cartel (IPEC) is 
discussed in Appendix 13. The scheme attempts to build in the essential 
functions of marketing, policing and technical services which would be 
required to make such an organisation work. I do not put it forward as a 
recommendation, but rather as an option which if adopted might improve the 
current status of ivory and elephants in Africa. All countries which I 
visited indicated that they favoured the idea, and reactions varied from 
the positive to the strongly enthusiastic. I have no illusions about the 
difficulties involved in trying to establish such an organisation. Unlike 
oil and diamonds which are easy to monopolise, elephants are widely 
distributed and few governments, despite claiming ownership of the 
resource, are able to enforce their monopoly. 

International co-operation 

The success of the quota proposals relies both on the producer countries 
setting realistic quotas and doing their utmost to limit the number of 
elephant killed to the stated figure, and on the consumer countries 
implementing the full set of procedures called for on their part. 

In several countries I visited in Africa I obtained evidence of the 
involvement of foreign diplomatic missions in substantial ivory smuggling 
using diplomatic privileges. I give three examples, 

A diplomatic vehicle was stopped at a road block near a border crossing 
and searched by wildlife staff who were not aware of the full extent of 
diplomatic privileges. In the boot of the car were several rhino horns and 
large elephant tusks. The staff were later reprimanded by their own 
government for failing to observe that the visitors carried diplomatic 
immunity, and the case was dropped. 

A one tonne pick-up vehicle was stopped by wildlife staff as it was about 
to enter the gates of an embassy. A search revealed that it was fully 
loaded with a tonne of raw ivory. 

The cook of a diplomatic residence was bribed by wildlife staff to pass 

ivory out of the house while the diplomat was at his embassy. The 
government authorities recovered a large cache amounting to over one tonne. 


The officials of the countries in which the incidents occurred have asked 
me not to reveal the names of their countries in order not to embarrass 
their own governments, who in all three cases did not react to the 
incidents for political reasons. 

It would assist the cause of conservation if all Foreign Offices 
instructed their diplomatic staff serving in Africa that under no 
circumstances would the movement of ivory, or any other illegal wildlife 
products, be sanctioned in the name of diplomatic privileges. 



There is a limited amount that can be achieved by regulation of the 
international trade in raw ivory. In my view the most critical area lies in 
the internal administration of producing countries. It is not my intention 
here to criticise the countries whose hospitality I have so recently enjoyed. 
What is contained in this section is intended to be general constructive 
advice and I have avoided referring to individual countries as far as 
possible. However, each country will doubtless identify remarks pertaining to 
its specific situation, and I apologise in advance for any offence caused. 

I will begin by dealing with administrative matters what will affect the 
success of the quota system directly, and then discuss more general problems, 
which, until they are solved, will continue to frustrate the officials in 
various countries in all their attempts to gain control of the ivory trade. 
Given the present status quo - that is that almost all governments have a 
declared policy that all wildlife belongs to the state - I will consider those 
measures that are necessary to implement such a monopoly. Finally, I will look 
at alternatives to total state ownership which may have a greater chance of 
solving the long term problems. 

In order to exercise control over the ivory trade (and wildlife utilisation in 
general) an orderly sequence of policy decisions and administrative procedures 
are necessary. I have tried to present these in a logical order. Failure to 
consider each step in the process is likely to make the overall organisation 
unsound. What is given below is not a framework for a conservation master 
plan, but rather a simple set of procedures for wildlife utilisation. 

1. Control of the resource 

It is essential that governments should be able to protect their wildlife 
resources and be seen to be in control, In all the countries I visited I 
listened to a consistent theme that the wildlife authorities did not have 
sufficient staff, funds and equipment to police the vast areas under their 
control, To a lesser or greater extent this is true: it has been the case 
as long as wildlife departments have been trying to assert their control. 
And yet I am not totally sympathetic. Some wildlife agencies are more 
successful than others in securing funds, and it depends to a large extent 
on the strength of the case put by the head of the department to the body 
controlling the country's budgets. Many wildlife agencies do receive 
sufficient funds from the treasuries of their countries and often end up 
with unspent funds at the end of the financial year. I was surprised at 
how many staff were employed in wildlife agencies, rather than the 
opposite. Certainly, the staff are inadequately equipped, but there are 
many donors in the wings willing to assist with equipment provided they 
are approached with sound proposals. I was depressed by the attitude that 
until funds were forthcoming, nothing could be done to improve the 
situation - because, in general, I don't believe it. 

Anti-poaching work is the top priority. It is only in the field that the 
illegal killing of elephant can be stopped - not through international 
trade restrictions. It is well nigh impossible to confront large gangs of 
poachers who are armed with automatic weapons with a Spear or an ancient 
303 rifle, but it is here that higher authorities in the country must be 
approached. In many of the countries I visited the streets and airports 


teemed with soldiers bearing the latest military weapons: it would not 
seem unreasonable to approach the military authorities for a loan of some 
arms or even the secondment of the present soldiers carrying the arms. 
Above all, strong leadership and motivation is needed in anti-poaching 
work, and this must come from a high level. It is regrettable that many 
high officers in wildlife agencies have never done anti-poaching work 
themselves and therefore are not competent to lead or organise patrols. 

Illegal hunting can be contained by other less obvious methods which don't 
necessarily involve massive anti-poaching forces. Good detective work and 
the establishment of informer networks can result in a lot of arrests - 
often of the more important criminals involved in the ivory trade. The 
simple administrative step of inspecting, registering and marking all 
tusks produced by private dealers for export is a method of detecting 
ivory obtained illegally and provides sufficient grounds for arrest when 
irregularities are found. 

If it is totally impossible to attempt any of the above then there is only 
one option: government should abandon its pretence to ownership of the 
wildlife resource and look for other solutions for its management. This is 
discussed further under subsection 8. 

Before closing the subject of establishing control, a final vital point 
must be made. In several of the countries I visited the loopholes in the 
laws relating to acquisition of ivory are so large that anti-poaching work 
would be a waste of time. In these countries, the primary need is to 
address the next points in this section, before expending the time and 
effort of sending anti-poaching staff on fruitless exercises. They might 
catch one poacher with one elephant, but be forced to ignore a semi-legal 
hunter killing herds. 

Policy and legislation on wildlife utilisation 

In most African countries, the declared policies on wildlife utilisation, 
if they worked, would result in no more than a few tusks from 
international sport hunters which would never enter the trade anyway. I 
came across no organised cropping schemes or culling programmes which 
could legitimately provide the present ivory in trade. Most government 
ivory comes from confiscation, which cannot be called the result of 
Management programmes. In Tanzania the largest amount comes trom 
protection of agricultural crops - which, even if it is a somewhat ad hoc 
approach to management, is at least the result of positive government 

The bulk of ivory is exported from producing countries by private 
citizens, and in many cases the quantities of ivory which they manage to 
amass for export cannot be reconciled either with legitimate quotas set by 
the authorities or with natural mortality of elephants. 

I found it very hard to understand the dualism in the official attitudes 
towards this obvious contradiction of the stated policies. On the one hand 
there is legal provision for a minimal harvest of ivory, on the other 
large exports of obviously illegal tusks are sanctioned. 

There is a need for every wildlife agency to ask itself critically “how 
will people get their ivory ?". The quota setting method in this report 
lists the various sources and provides a method to allocate amounts under 
each category. If the official government policy contains no provision for 


wildlife utilisation of any form, it is pointless turning a blind eye to 
the fact that wildlife is nevertheless being heavily used all over the 
country. If bans don't work, then the next step is to accept that some 
sort of exploitation will happen despite government policy and the best 
option is to try to control it and keep it within manageable limits. 

In many countries the wildlife officials see their brief as starting and 
ending in the gazetted protected areas. What happens in the remainder of 
the country is not their concern. The export quota of ivory will not 
simply be the result of a number of permits issued for sport hunting in 
defined hunting zones, in fact this will be the smallest part of it. The 
bulk of ivory will come from the unprotected elephant populations in 
no-mans-land. Some authority has to take the responsibility for this. 

The system of “collection” which is still practised in some countries 
requires comment. A permit allowing an individual to purchase found ivory 
from villagers may have been reasonable in the days when modern weapons 
were absent from the African countryside: today, it is nothing less than 
giving carte blanche for elephant slaughter on a grand scale. It could 
work with highly knowledgeable wildlife officials who inspected every tusk 
collected, and who were prepared to put the collector behind bars if he 
had a single tusk in his possession which had not come from natural 
mortality. But where collection is being practised, the wildlife 
authorities do not even inspect the tusks. 

A problem which has haunted wildlife officials since the turn of the 
century has been how to secure the ivory from natural mortality. ihe 
adequate rewards are paid to private citizens to hand it in to government 
authorities, then the rewards themselves are a stimulus for illegal 
hunting. If rewards are not paid, the person who finds the ivory would 
prefer to sell it to the collector or illegal dealer. With present 
policies in Africa very little "found" ivory finds its way into government 
hands, except those tusks picked up by the wildlife staff. Government 
could afford to pay high rewards for found ivory and avoid encouraging 
illegal hunting if wildlife staff knew how to differentiate between ivory 
which has been hacked from an elephant's jaw, and ivory which has been 
drawn from a skull found in the bush. Parker (1979, page 169) has given 
detailed criteria for doing this. The person bringing in tusks from a 
freshly killed elephant could be jailed without further ado. 

Administration of hunting 

Having decided on the legitimate offtake of elephant, the authorities need 
to put in place an administrative system to ensure that only those 
elephant which are on the quota are killed. This involves: 

a) deciding who will use the quota. It may be shared among sport 
hunters, both resident and international, citizens carrying out 
cropping for commercial gain, or the wildlife staff themselves 
carrying out control hunting or culling; 

b) issuing a permit to hunt, which is specific regarding the numbers, 
age and sex of the animals to be hunted, and the locality where 
hunting is to take place; 

c) supervising the hunting operation. Ideally, a member of government 

staff should accompany the hunting party on all excursions from its 
base. Where this is not possible, hunting parties should be made to 


report at a manned entry point to the hunting area both on arrival 
and exit, and their vehicle checked for the possession of trophies 
not provided for on the hunting licence. Failing this, the hunter 
should report to the nearest government wildlife officer immediately 
on completion of the hunt; and 

d) registering the tusks. The representative of government’ should 
inspect the hunting permit, enter the permit number and the name of 
the hunter into the station ivory register with the weight and 
description of each tusk. The tusks will be marked with the current 
entry number of the register, and an ownership certificate issued. 
Government may demand that these same trophies are later presented in 
the main administrative centre for confirmation of registration, and 
the issue of export documentation if the hunter requires it. 

In certain countries tusks are not registered, marked, or inspected from 
the point at which they originate in the field to the point of export. I 
am not referring to illegal tusks. Where “collection” is practised, such 
ivory is legal within the government laws at all times. Frequently the 
tusks are marked by the dealers themselves, not because the government 
requires it but because the importing country does. This system is open to 
every abuse possible. 

Movement of ivory within the country 

After registering all tusks at their point of acquisition in the field, 
the ideal system for controlling the movement of ivory inside a country is 
to have all tusks registered, marked and inspected at a single main 
centre, by a single responsible agency. Government sale of ivory and the 
export of all tusks should take place from that centre. 

In a large country this is not always practical. It is not economic to 
move ivory unnecessary distances, particularly if there are convenient 
points for export or internal markets near the place where ivory 
Originates. International safari hunting clients do not enjoy bureaucracy 
or delays in obtaining their trophies and it is necessary to be flexible 
on this point. However, in such cases it is essential that the officer in 
charge of ivory registration in each centre is highly responsible, and i438 
he is likely to sign CITES documents, his signature should be registered 
with the CITES Secretariat. 

In several countries in Africa the flow of ivory is highly complicated. 
Tusks are handled by more than one agency, each with their own sphere of 
authority, and the decisions whether ivory is sold in the district where 
it is acquired, whether it is exported, or whether it is moved to the main 
centre appears somewhat arbitrary. All this need not be important, 
provided the authorities know the numbers of tusks and where they are 
stored at any one time. 

The greatest concern should be with ivory which is in private hands. In 
more than one country this ivory moves without checks at any stage. it is 
not registered in the field, and it is not inspected before export. The 
supply of ivory to most carving industries is also uncontrolled, where 
even a simple system of occasional roadblocks would provide a partial 
check on the ivory traffic. Whilst the Zambians may not be very successful 
in containing illegal hunting, through the use of roadblocks they are very 
successful at apprehending ivory which is being moved. 


Ivory sales 

Apart from sport hunting trophies, it is desirable that all ivory 
originating within a country is sold through the government. That is, 
government should be the sole source of ivory. If private dealers wish to 
export, they should buy their ivory from government, except for the odd 
isolated purchase of a pair of trophy tusks from a private citizen, which 
transaction would in any case be registered with government. The only 
valid exceptions to this that I can think of would be in the case of a 
registered dealer in ivory who was running an elephant cropping scheme 
with government permission, There would be little point in him selling the 
tusks to government and buying them back (I know of no such scheme in 

In most Francophone countries the government handles very little ivory, 
apart from occasional sales of confiscated ivory. The trade remains 
largely in private hands with various taxes being paid for certificates of 
ownership and export permits, and there is often a surcharge or duty on 
the weight of ivory. I believe this is the source of many of the ailments 
in the ivory trade in such countries. The lack of interest shown by 
governments provides all the opportunity for inclusion of large quantities 
of illegally owned tusks in export shipments. 

I have been amazed at the low prices obtained for ivory by the governments 
in most countries of Africa. To a large extent I attribute this to the 
sale of ivory by tender. The opportunity for irregularities in tender 
transactions is very high: a corrupt official can arrange external 
payments for himself without arousing suspicion. However, it is not the 
only explanation. In the Francophone countries ivory is frequently sold by 
auction, but because the sale is only attended by a limited number of 
local dealers, who are mainly in collusion anyway, prices remain very low. 
When ivory is sold by fixed government price, this is also extremely low. 

A properly advertised auction with international buyers present, conducted 
by professional auctioneers, and with the ivory well presented in 
organised lots, is probably the best way to conduct sales. The prices 
obtained are the highest possible under present circumstances, and there 
is little opportunity for collusion among buyers or corrupt practices 
among government officials. 

Civil servants in general, and wildlife staff in particular, are the worst 
of financial managers. Perhaps it is because they are responsible for 
public funds and not their own money. I have been appalled at the very 
large stocks of ivory which are allowed to accumulate in government hands 
before sales. Unsold ivory is the equivalent of uninvested money - it does 
not earn interest. An astute businessman might hoard ivory as a 
speculation against a price increase, but this is not the explanation in 
the case of government officials. 

Failure to sell regularly, and failure to obtain the best price for ivory 
is no less than gross financial mismanagement. 

Export of ivory 

The international procedures for export are well known to most 
governments, and particularly to private dealers engaged in the ivory 
trade. I do not intend to repeat the CITES procedures here, and wish only 
to remark upon certain internal practices which I came across during this 


trip. In one country, private dealers obtain orders for ivory by 
approaching overseas buyers with the promise to be able to supply very 
large quantities. On receipt of an order, they then apply for an export 
permit and set about assembling the shipment - which may amount to as much 
as 40 tonnes, none of which they have in hand at the time of soliciting 
the order, and none of which can be obtained through legal channels. It is 
no good saying "naughty, greedy merchants": the fault lies with the 
government of the country in the practices it is prepared to accept. The 
country concerned is desperately short of foreign exchange, and any order 
which carried with it the promise of a large amount of money is 
enthusiastically welcomed by the trade authorities who issue the export 
permit. It still requires the sanction of the wildlife authorities, but it 
would require considerably more power than they have for the permit to be 

In the central African countries there have been significant movements of 
ivory between countries using certificates of ownership to clear import 
formalities, rather than full export permits. Traditionally such movements 
have been treated as “internal trade“ rather than full export. The 
certificates of ownership can be bought for a trivial sum, and many are 
simply fraudulent. Zaire has recently asked the Central African Republic 
to allow no further imports of its ivory into C.A.R. unless accompanied by 
full CITES export permits issued in Kinshasa. This is evidence that the 
CITES attempts to control trade are having some beneficial effects. 

Control of internal ivory dealing and the carving industry 

By far the largest problem throughout the Francophone countries and a 
number of the Anglophone countries is the illegal ivory used in the 
internal carving industries. I may well underestimated the amount at 85 
tonnes in the previous chapter: it would not surprise me if it were double 
that figure. 

In every country I visited the authorities were aware that by continuing 
to sanction the sale of worked ivory from retail outlets and on the 
street, that they were condoning an ongoing illegal harvest of elephant. 
When I asked where the tusks for carving came from I was told quite simply 
"We don't know. None of them are registered with us." It might appear an 
attractive solution to simply close down all ivory retail outlets, sales, 
carving industries and the like, but I don't believe it is the answer. The 
industry provides a livelihood for many people and is an expression of 
culture and art forms. To ban it will result in underground traffic of 
worked ivory, and unfair advantage for surrounding countries. Far better 
to recognise it, and to regulate the industry - as the officials in most 
Francophone countries are trying to do at the moment. 

It is important to ensure a legitimate supply of ivory for such an 
industry, and this is the next step the Francophone countries will have to 
take after completing their registration of all persons engaged in the 
trade. There is a problem in carrying out this registration: in Gabon for 
example, only one artisan has come forward - obviously there is a fear of 
government reprisals. I believe that the long term future relies on a 
close relationship between the carvers, who should form a strong trade 
association, the hunters, who should either be employed by the carvers or 
government, and the government itself. The wildlife authorities might set 
a quota of animals to be cropped legitimately for the internal carving 
industry, and allow the carvers to employ their own hunters to provide 
them with the ivory. Government would assign designated areas to such 


hunters and require them to keep those areas free of all illegal hunting. 
All tusks from the hunters would be registered by the wildlife authorities 
and, through this process, control will have been established. 

I do not believe the answer lies in government taking over the industry. 
There are certain areas where private initiative is important, and a civil 
servant's attitude is not conducive to the best productivity. Tanzania and 
Malawi recognise this and, while they have banned all private ivory 
dealers, government provides the ivory for private carvers. Zambia and 
Somalia have nationalised the carving industry totally, and it remains to 
be seen how successful they are. 

In Zimbabwe the industry remains in private hands but is tightly 
controlled. All ivory dealers and carvers are registered with government, 
and pay an annual licence fee. All retailers of ivory are also registered, 
but pay no dues. Dealers can obtain their ivory only from the government 
sales and may export it or sell to carvers. A certain provision is made on 
government sales for some ivory which may not be exported to ensure that 
the carvers are not left without a supply. Some citizens carry both 
dealers and carvers licences and effectively sell to themselves. Dealers, 
carvers and retailers submit a monthly return to government stating ivory 
purchases and sales. The dealer gives the tusk numbers of all tusks 
purchased from government and the names of the carving industries to which 
those tusks were sold. In the carvers' returns are stated the names of 
dealers from whom tusks have been bought and the tusk numbers. They also 
describe the worked items made from each tusk and to which retailer these 
items have been sold. Retailers give the names of all carvers from whom 
they buy worked ivory during the month, and all persons in the public to 
whom they have sold products. In this way the trade can be totally 
monitored and any “shady” operator can be watched closely. It has in fact 
had the effect of removing such operators from the trade, and the country 
is now left with the more committed dealers and artisans. 

Recording systems for information on the ivory trade 

As soon as the technical staff in each country begins trying to set a 
quota under the new CITES proposal, they will find that they do not have 
the essential information on the number of tusks to be expected annually 
from natural mortality, confiscations, control hunting and so on. I 
exclude no country from this statement, including my own. At the beginning 
of the first year of the quota system therefore it is very important that 
each country puts in place a structure for acquiring the necessary data by 
the end of the year. It is worth assigning one member of staff 
specifically to the analysis of statistics from the ivory trade during the 
year, and ensuring that all field stations are providing data in the form 
required. The value of the resource in financial terms more than justifies 
the expenditure, leaving aside any conservation issues. 

The following system of data collection should be installed at the outset 
of the first quota year and continued routinely as part of the management 
of elephant populations. 

a) Elephant deaths register: Every field office of the wildlife agency 
should maintain a register in which, as a minimum, the following 

items are recorded: 

- Date of death or discovery of carcase. 
- Location of death. 


The sole resource that many governments have to protect their wildlife is 
an extensive rural population: the government's only hope is to enlist 
their aid, rather than to fly in the face of their wishes. The first step 
in this process is to accept that the proceeds from wildlife utilisation 
must go to the rural village, not into central government coffers. The 
next is to devise programmes for the rational use of wildlife by the rural 
community where government's main role is as an advisor. There is too much 
talk about wildlife utilisation for the benefit of the people, where what 
is intended is that government will continue to manage, harvest and market 
the products and will make payments to rural dwellers to keep them happy. 
This is not constructive in the long term. Only when communities take over 
the management of their own wildlife will the benefits begin to show. 

Apart from Zaire, there are many countries which do not have enough 
manpower, funds and equipment to do the job demanded of them by their own 
governments and the world conservation community. If they continue to 
struggle with their present policies there is little chance of things 
improving. The answer may lie in accepting that illegal hunting is 
inevitable, and look for for ways to bring it within manageable bounds. 
The long term aim of conservation is simply to ensure survival of the 
species, and if this has to be achieved by methods which destroy some of 
the illusions about conservation, that is neither here nor there. In Zaire 
a proposal was discussed for legalising poaching which is presented in 
Appendix 14. The ideas have application in any country where the present 
conservation policies are becoming more and more difficult to enforce. 


Countries are listed in the order in which I visited them. 


The human population of Botswana is slightly in excess of one million persons 
living in 600 373 sq km. As such it qualifies as one of the least densely 
populated countries in Africa. 

Botswana used to run an annual lottery for elephant hunting licences which 
allowed residents and citizens the opportunity to hunt. The system ensured 
that all people had an equal chance of a licence, and perhaps the only flaw in 
it was that the large safari operators negotiated their quotas separately. The 
country banned elephant hunting in 1983, following various malpractices by 
hunters. The feeling of the authorities is that the ban has proved beneficial 
because it has eliminated such offences as lack of follow-up of wounded 
animals, “double-shooting” (if the first elephant shot did not have large 
enough tusks, a second was often taken illegally), and unauthorised entries 
and exits from hunting areas. The Department has been unable to man 
checkpoints at the entrances to all hunting areas due to staff shortages (the 
total staff for the country is about 350 persons). 

At present the sole sources of ivory are from confiscations, deaths of wounded 
animals and rare instances of control hunting. Typically the country exports 
about 2 tonnes per year, which are sold by tender. Tusks are marked in 
accordance with the CITES procedures, and there are 5 registered signatories 
at Francistown, Maun, Kasane, Gaborone, and Machaneng. 

The country permits private dealers and carving industries to operate, and 
allows the import of raw ivory from other countries to provide the necessary 
ivory for the local industry. All ivory dealers keep detailed registers of 
tusks acquired and disposed of. I was not able to establish from the 
authorities whether Botswana permitted the re-export of raw ivory by private 
dealers, Their feeling was that if this was occurring it was not in the spirit 
of the dealers' original request to allow imports only for the purpose of 
internal consumption. 

Botswana supported the idea of an ivory export cartel very strongly. The 
country is totally familiar with the system for selling diamonds and the 
penalties for unauthorised possession, as it is a major producer in this 
field. The Director felt that if the status of ivory could be raised to the 
same standing as that for diamonds it would enhance conservation. At present 
the fines for illegal hunting in the country are trivial (about 200 pula) and 
this does little to deter poachers. 


The country has a population of about 6.5 million people in an area of 752 610 
sq km and is therefore relatively unpopulated. It has extensive ranges for 
elephant, including 61 000 sq km under National Parks and 159 000 sq km in 
Game Management Areas. Despite this (or because of it) the elephant population 
is declining sharply. There are insufficient staff to effectively man the vast 
wildlife estate. 


Zambia banned elephant hunting in 1982, but the general feeling of the 
Departmental staff is that this was a retrogressive move. The lack of a 
presence provided by the safari operators may have intensified illegal 
hunting. In June 1984 the Government withdrew all permits for private dealers 
in ivory and carving industries. The Government is now the sole owner of 
ivory, and has set up a Revolving Fund to accept all proceeds from ivory 
sales. A significant proportion of this revenue goes to benefit the 
Department. A carving industry has been established under the fund which 
handles about 2 tonnes of ivory per year. At present the greatest problem 
facing the industry is the marketing of its products. 

The largest source of ivory is from confiscations (some 2 500 tusks per year) 
but this is probably only a small part of the illegal traffic. Zambian ivory 
provides as much of 75% of confiscations in Malawi. This is clearly 
unsatisfactory from the Zambian authorities' point of view: it is some 
recompense to capture a part of the illegal haul, but nowhere near as 
satisfactory as to prevent the hunting in the first place. There is a large 
surplus of ivory in Chilanga at present (some 12 tonnes) which is due to be 
exported soon. Zambia marks all its tusks in accordance with CITES procedures. 
Raw ivory is sold by tender at prices which are well below the true market 

There are enlightened developments afoot in the Luangwa Valley to introduce 
new community schemes where the residents can benefit directly from wildlife 
utilisation, and these provide the best hope for the future. The Lupande 
Development Scheme (Dalal-Clayton and Lewis, 1984) is a well-considered 
project at a grass-roots level which should work. A major regional plan for 
the Luangwa Valley is also being discussed, but my personal view is that this 
is umnecessary and should not be allowed to prejudice the community projects 
which are far more urgent. Experience in Zimbabwe with regional plans (Martin 
and Taylor, 1983; Martin, 1982) has led me to believe that whilst they may be 
useful exercises, they seldom lead to any constructive development. 


The country is relatively small (118 484 sq km) and densely populated 
(7 million people). Unlike Zimbabwe, there are no vast tracts of unclaimed 
land and the country relies primarily on its rural agriculture for survival. 
Despite land pressure the Parks and Wildlife Estate is well conserved and 
boundaries are respected by rural residents. In areas of potential conflict 
electric fences are used to prevent animals from raiding crops. A large part 
of Malawi's success stems from well-trained staff, comprehensive master plans 
for conservation (Bell and Clarke, 1985), and a sophisticated level of 
anti-poaching work (Bell, 1984; Bell, 1985b). 

The majority of ivory in Malawi, like Zambia, originates from confiscations — 
the difference being that most of Malawi's confiscated tusks come from Zambia. 
It is worth discussing the mechanisms involved here because they are a feature 
of the ivory trade that no international sanctions can address. A tusk may 
originate from as far afield as Zaire, be used as barter for essential 
foodstuffs on the border with Zambia, and then move in small steps across 
Zambia in a series of transactions which may not involve money changing hands. 
The tusk is too “hot” to hold for long, and it is important for the owner to 
get rid of it before being caught in possession, When, finally, an unfortunate 
individual is caught with it after many exchanges, the tusk becomes legal 
government property. But this is not before it has performed a valuable role 
as currency for a rural trade system extending across international boundaries 
and independent of modern import/export restrictions. 


Confiscations account for about 75% of Malawian ivory, and the balance is 
largely provided by control hunting. Malawi has a system in operation which I 
did not encounter elsewhere in Africa. The revenue from ivory sales goes to 
support the Department's budget and the staff have strong incentives to shoot 
large tusked animals on control, and to execute anti-poaching operations with 
vigour. The size of tusks shot on control recorded in the Kasungu National 
Park ivory register would have been very suitable for sport hunting trophies 
in many other countries! The wildlife staff are well aware of the irony in 
their situation: if they are totally successful in eliminating poaching, and 
if electric fences prevent further crop raiding, they will find themselves 
materially worse off. 

Almost all ivory obtained in Malawi is consumed in the domestic carving 
industry. The Chief Parks and Wildlife Officer was far from satisfied with 
this state of affairs because the carving trade provides an outlet for illegal 
ivory which is difficult to control. However, the carving industry in Malawi 
is well policed and all worked products can theoretically be related to the 
registered tusk from which they originate. 

Malawi would export in the case of a major confiscation which exceeded the 
needs of the internal industry, and felt that provision should be made under 
the quota system for contingencies such as this. Malawi is not using metal 
punches to mark tusks at present because they are not exporting. Ivory is sold 
by tender or fixed government price, and this is well below the current 
international price. 

On the quota system, the view was expressed that African countries are in the 
best position to judge what will be produced in their countries, and the 
western hemisphere should not sit in judgement on the final quotas. Strong 
Measures to control wildlife utilisation within the CITES forum may act 
against conservation in Party states, and the example of the Nile crocodile 
was discussed. On the subject of a minimum size of tusk for export, Malawi 
felt that this was not of much consequence as most of the ivory they were 
recovering through confiscation was relatively large, and the establishment of 
such a limit would not influence illegal hunting in their country. It was felt 
that a standardised form for quota submission was desirable. 


The area of the country is 945 166 sq km and the current population is about 
20 million people increasing at a rate of some 3% per annum. At a density of 
about 20 people per sq km it is relatively underpopulated (Malawi has about 
60/sq km), and there are large uninhabited areas such as the Selous Game 
Reserve in the south-east of the country which at 55 000 sq km is the largest 
in Africa. Some 24% of the country is devoted to National Parks, Game Reserves 
and Controlled Areas (which include human settlement). 

The largest source of ivory in the country is from control hunting. 
Douglas-Hamilton and Davitz (1978) calculated the proportion at 73% for 
1967-68, and in a sample from the ivory register in Arusha from 1981-84 1 
found the proportion was 67%. From the same register the proportion of 
confiscated ivory was 27%, which is very much higher than the 1% found by the 
above authors from the 1968 data, and may indicate a substantial increase in 
illegal hunting. It is interesting to note how very different the proportions 
are from neighbouring Zambia and Malawi where confiscated ivory forms the 
overwhelming proportion of the total. The bulk of Tanzanian ivory comes from 
the south-east of the country (Selous). 


The flow of ivory within Tanzania is fairly complicated. Douglas-Hamilton and 
Davitz (1978) give a diagram of the possible routes taken by ivory inside the 
country, but I found that this did not pertain to the situation in 1984 - if 
anything it is now more complicated. Under the Wildlife Division at 
Ministerial level are three main branches: Tanzania National Parks and TAWICO 
(Tanzanian Wildlife Corporation) which are parastatal, and the Wildlife 
Division itself. Each of these three bodies deals with ivory, although TAWICO 
is the main handler of exports. The Ivory Room in Dar es Salaam receives the 
bulk of tusks, particularly the large ones, from all regions of the country. 
Within the regions smaller tusks may be sold out of hand to local carving 
industries; hunting trophies may be exported directly; National Parks may 
export its own ivory, and TAWICO is permitted to receive tusks directly from 
within the region providing it notifies the Director. The Ivory Room sells 
20 kg per month to each of 32 carving industries in the vicinity of Dar es 
Salaam amounting to about 7.5 tonnes. These tusks may not be exported. TAWICO 
buys from the Ivory Room and arranges exports directly from Dar es Salaam. I 
found it difficult to reconcile the total export figures from Tanzania with 
the annual stocks in the Ivory Room, but was assured that this was because all 
tusks are not always exported in their year of entry to the Ivory Room and 
TAWICO gets ivory from other sources. If I may be permitted a recommendation, 
it would be that the present system should be simplified! 

There is a very great difference between the typical number of tusks received 
by the Ivory Room from 1971-77 (Douglas-Hamilton and Davitz, op. cit.), and 
the numbers between 1982-84. The lowest figure in the earlier data was 3967 
tusks in 1971, and in all the rest of these years it was of the order of 6000 
tusks weighing about 30 tonnes. In 1982 it was 1480 tusks weighing 7.7 tonnes; 
1983 - 1696 tusks weighing 9.6 tonnes, and in 1984 (excluding the last 2 weeks 
of December) - 1301 tusks weighing 5.9 tonnes. I am at a loss for an 
explanation for the sudden drop in numbers. What is more difficult to 
understand is that if the amount sold to local carvers from the Ivory Room is 
about 7.5 tonnes annually then there is virtually no surplus for export in any 
of the recent figures. Tanzania exported 9.4 tonnes in 1982 and 4.6 tonnes in 
1983, so TAWICO must have obtained almost all this ivory from elsewhere in the 

Tanzania does not permit any ivory imports and private dealers are not allowed 
to export. Safari hunting was banned between 1974 and 1978 but is now in 
operation again with about 100 licences per year being issued. Tusks are 
marked according to the CITES procedures and the Director of the Wildlife 
Division is the only signatory for export permits. Ivory is sold by tender and 
the prices realised are very mch lower than the reigning international 
prices. Tanzania would not be opposed to a minimum size of tusk for export, as 
it tends to export only tusks greater than 10 kg from the Ivory Room. 

The Government pays rewards for found ivory and information leading to 
conviction of poachers. However, almost all found ivory is turned in by staff 
of the Wildlife Division, indicating that the rewards are not high enough to 
attract private citizens who would rather sell to the illegal buyer. 

Illegal hunting is becoming a major problem. In the opinion of the Director of 
TAWICO very little is finding its way to the coast, but is disappearing 
through Burundi. All officials to whom I spoke were convinced that Burundi is 
the major exit point for large amounts of ivory from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia 
and Zaire. 

My overall impression was that conservation in Tanzania was of a fairly high 
standard, particularly when the low salaries and limited number of staff to 


police such a vast wildlife estate are taken into account. However, the threat 
of increased illegal hunting is present, and if events suddenly took a turn 
for the worse the existing staff would be hard pressed to contain any major 
outbreak of poaching. I feel there is a strong need for the introduction of 
programmes to allow rural communities to take over the management of wildlife 
resource outside National Parks, even if this involves changes in the existing 
legislation. I was informed that in the vicinity of Ruaha National Park the 
local population was co-operating extensively with poachers and was totally 
alienated from government staff. The best solution to problems such as this 
probably lies in abandoning attempts to claim a government monopoly on all 
wildlife, and rather searching for ways to induce communities to take over the 
responsibility, giving them all the technical assistance mecessary and 
allowing them to reap the benefits without undue bureaucratic control (Martin, 
1983; Martin, 1985). Perhaps the present high level of control hunting by 
government staff could be replaced, by well regulated community cropping 
schemes, where the ivory and all other wildlife products would belong to the 
community rather than the Government, and would thus be used by the rural 
people legitimately. 


With an area of 582 647 sq km and a population of 20 million Kenya may not 
appear to be overpopulated. However, a large part of the country is extremely 
arid and the population is highly unevenly distributed being concentrated on 
the better soils in the southern third of the country. 

The Kenya elephant population has been declining steadily since 1977 (Stelfox 
et al., 1984), but this may be inevitable with the very high rate of human 
increase and demand for arable land in the country. Kenya is unique among 
African countries in having effectively “banished” everything to do with the 
ivory trade in the country: there are no dealers, carvers or retailers of 
ivory products. The country does not allow the import of ivory, but permits 
transit if all documentation is in order. What little ivory accumulates 
through control hunting, natural mortalities and confiscations is channelled 
through Nairobi and exported by the Government. This is sold by tender, 
because the Kenya authorities feel there would be collusion amongst buyers on 
an auction. However, the prices realised for ivory are very low (US $40/kg). 
Kenya uses felt-tip pens rather than metal punches to mark its tusks, and uses 
the registration NRB (Nairobi) rather than a national code. 

Kenya would be opposed to any minimum size of tusk for export because it has 
no internal use for ivory and all tusks must be exported. The opinion was 

expressed strongly that Kenya would not be prepared to tolerate undue 
interference from non-producer countries in the matter of setting quotas, and 
that demands from the European Economic Community for management plans from 
ivory exporting countries were unrealistic. The Kenya authorities feel 
confident in setting their own export quotas, and did not feel it was 
necessary to test the method outlined in this report. 

Kenya enjoys what is probably the largest tourist market for wildlife in 
Africa, and this determines their policies towards conservation. Wildlife 
utilisation schemes rank very low in their list of priorities, and are 
probably impractical in view of the high densities of humans surrounding many 
National Parks. Their needs are for efficient protection of the resource 
within gazetted areas, although there is the additional problem of wildlife 
populations with migratory habits which move outside National Parks. It is 
here that they may have to consider some practical accommodations with rural 
human populations on boundaries. 


Traditionally Kenya has always been an attraction for a wide spectrum of 
international wildlife scientists and conservation experts. Nairobi hosts 
numerous non-governmental organisations apart from well-known individual 
conservationists. I found it a somewhat alien experience to be in a country 
where there are so many additional spokesmen on wildlife matters over and 
above the official government agency, and learnt that that this frequently 
leads to embarrassment of the authorities. Such a state of affairs cannot aid 
conservation, and it would be desirable to see closer co-operation between the 
Government and private sectors, with the initiative coming primarily from the 

A feature of the next four countries, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and Chad, is 
that they are all fighting wars to a lesser or greater extent - either with 
their neighbours or with dissenting factions within their countries. Such 
military activity drains the country of wealth, and there is very little 
funding available for conservation. Wildlife legislation has little impact in 
such circumstances. I found it remarkable that there were still active 
government agencies trying to implement conservation rules despite the 
daunting setbacks. 


With only 4-5 million people in an area of 637 664 sq km, Somalia might appear 
underpopulated: however the northern half of the country is mainly desert and 
humans are concentrated largely in the south where the potential for conflict 
with elepnant is very high (Watson, 1984). Even in the south rainfall is low 
(400 - 600 mm), and there is extensive overstocking of domestic livestock 
which is in direct competition with wildlife. 

The Somalian Parliament has ratified the CITES agreement and there remain only 
bureaucratic problems in obtaining accession. The National Range Agency which 
is responsible for wildlife is without any specific field staff, and relies on 
the police who have a task force designated to carry out anti-poaching work. 
Their job is daunting as Somali hunters are know to be among the most 
proficient and ubiquitous in Africa. 

Somalia banned all hunting in 1971, and has since closed down the ivory 
carving industry and revoked all dealers' licences. The Agency has opened a 
small experimental laboratory to teach the art of carving, and to reconstruct 
the industry in government hands. This is unlikely to use more than a tonne of 
ivory annually. The Government has a surplus of 40 tonnes of confiscated ivory 
which it plans to export in the near future, and thereafter it does not 
envisage a sustained output. Somalia would readily adopt the standard tusk 
marking system of CITES on accession. 

Illegal hunting has been intense in Somalia recently (from officials, and 
Watson, 1984) and the Government has mounted a major publicity campaign to 
combat the problem. Notwithstanding the 40 tonne stock held at present, the 
authorities believe there are large caches of ivory still buried throughout 
the country. Such ivory is being gradually recovered by using a system of 
payment for information (20% of the value of the captured amount) which 
appears to bring in at least one tonne per year. Poachers are severely 
punished with prison terms of up to 15 years. 


In the majority of Africa it is believed that very little ivory leaves the 
continent illegally (Parker and Bradley Martin, 1982). Somalia may be one 
exception to this. The country has an extensive coastline which is very 
difficult to police, and the sailing distance to countries in the middle east 
is not great. I heard the opinion expressed in several quarters that 
significant amounts of illegal ivory were moving to India and Pakistan in 
small dhows. Djibouti also buys illegal ivory from Kenya and Somalia and, 
being a free port, there are no difficulties in exporting further afield. The 
quota system may address this problem if consumer countries co-operate. 

Somalia has been asking for assistance in conservation for many years, both to 
establish an efficient field staff and to re-structure their central wildlife 
organisation from the head office downwards. The authorities made several 
points to me fairly forcibly which I feel bound to repeat here. At the time of 
acquiring independence, they were left with a total absence of conservation 
legislation, policy and infrastructure. Their requests to the outside world at 
a time when they had 25 - 30 000 elephant produced little other than 
questionnaires and frivolous enquiries. Because their budgets were low, 
potential donors felt that the country had no commitment to conservation and 
was therefore not worth helping. International trade resolutions and 
“lightning” visits from consultants (reference my visit) have done nothing for 
them either, and they are highly sceptical of the international conservation 
effort - perhaps justifiably. 

During my stay in Somalia I heard nothing but favourable opinions of the 
National Range Agency, both from other government officials and private 


Ethiopia has on of the highest populations in Africa, some 40 million people, 
and although it has an area of 1 237 000 sq km, less than half of this has 
much potential for human settlement. A major human crisis has been caused by 
the recent drought in the country, and it seemed somewhat trivial to be 
discussing wildlife issues with the greater problems on hand. 

Ethiopia is not yet a CITES signatory but is anxious to abide by the CITES 
regulations. However, certain restrictions, particularly those regarding 
leopard, strike them as inappropriate. They approved of the proposed quota 
system for ivory and felt that each country should set its own quota. They 
favoured international involvement in conservation issues as a way of putting 
internal pressures on governments to recognise their own natural resources. 

The Wildlife Conservation Organisation is a Department under the Natural 
Resources Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture. It is divided into two main 
sections. the Division of National Parks, and the Division of Wildlife 
Utilisation and Anti-Poaching. There is also a separate Administrative 
section. The Wildlife Utilisation Division (with whom I dealt) handle a 
diverse set of industries, including civet musk and baboons and monkeys which 
are exported. 

All ivory flow is centralised through the ivory store in Addis Ababa, but 
tusks are not registered in field stations and are unmarked until they reach 
Addis. The main source of ivory is from confiscations; there is very little 
control hunting, and about a dozen elephant are shot on sport hunting licences 
annually. The confiscated ivory is larger than in most countries (40% of tusks 
greater than 5 kg and the largest pair 48 kg each), and this was one of the 


few stores in which there was a significant proportion of found ivory. Many of 
the larger tusks were cut in half for ease of transport by the illegal owners. 
Typically about 1.5 tonnes of ivory (200 tusks) are confiscated annually. 

There were no official ivory exports in 1983 and 1984. At the time of writing 
the Government has about 5 tonnes in stock, and private dealers, of which 
there are seven in Addis Ababa and a similar number in Asmara, were holding 
about 4 tonnes. Very little of this ivory is exported and it is used mainly in 
the domestic carving industry. The carving industries have a quota of ivory 
from Government and when this is exhausted they are allowed further purchases. 
Private citizens are holding about 5 tonnes of ivory with certificates of 

Ivory imports are permitted under strictly controlled situations for the 
carving industry, but there has in fact been only one case of import in the 
last 5 years. All worked ivory is subject to export permits and the recorded 
amounts were slightly under 400 kg in 1983 and in 1984. Ivory is sold by 
tender or by fixed government price for out-of-hand sales. 

The Ethiopian authorities are reluctant to see ivory become a major issue in 
their country. It is not in line with their conservation and management 
policies to exploit elephant populations actively, and they have numerous 
other wildlife utilisation schemes in which they are more interested. The 
status of conservation in the country is relatively high, and there are not 
large tracts of unused land containing elephant: almost the entire population 
is in protected areas. Tourism is actively promoted, including sport hunting. 
In many respects Ethiopia and Malawi are similar: both have mature 
conservation policies which seem to be a product of a situation where human 
populations have reached a particular level and there is little land left for 
further expansion. 


The Sudan is the largest country in Africa (2 505 810 sq km) with a population 
of 20 million people. Unlike Zaire, which is almost as large, one third of the 
Sudan is desert. Elephant occur in the south of the country only and in recent 
times numbers exceeded 76 O00 (Watson et al., 1976). Owing to the war in 
southern Sudan there are no recent figures for the population, but large ivory 
exports in the last four years would suggest that it has greatly been reduced. 

Following the exports of 1981 and 1982 (and an attendant amount of world 
publicity) Sudan banned all exports in December 1983. However, immediately 
following the ban certain influential merchants protested strongly to the 
highest authorities and, on the threat of legal action, the wildlife 
authorities were forced to back down. Some 3-4 merchants obtained permission 
to fulfil outstanding contracts for export orders. I am not sure at the time 
of writing whether these contracts have been fulfilled. The contracts were for 
extremely large amounts of the order of 10 to 40 tonnes per merchant (although 
I saw the exact figures in a file at the Ministry of Commerce, I was not 
permitted to copy them). The Director of Export Promotion informed me that the 
amount outstanding was 13.7 tonnes, but the Director of Wildlife thought that 
the figure was more like 22 tonnes. 

This brings up an extremely important point regarding internal administration. 
It appears that Sudan merchants have in the past solicited orders for ivory 
from importing countries without actually having the stock on hand. On receipt 
of the order and import permit from the prospective importer the merchant 


would set about collecting the necessary tusks and produce the documents as 
grounds for the granting of an export permit. Few systems could be more open 
to abuse. 

Most government ivory stocks originate from confiscations. There are some 7 
tonnes in stock in Khartoum at present, and a similar amount in Juba. More 
confiscations are expected in southern Sudan in the near future. Control 
hunting accounts for about 100 tusks per annum. The authorities will set a 
quota of some 30 tonnes to clear present stocks, and expect in the future to 
have a low production which will be mainly consumed internally. In the event 
of a large confiscated amount they will use a special quota to cover the 

Sudan does not allow ivory imports, but will permit transit if documents are 
in order. The Government is unwilling to reopen the door to private ivory 
traders when the quota system comes into effect. 

Government ivory is sold by tender as local merchants conspire to keep prices 
low in auctions. Sudan would not favour a minimum size of tusk for export as 
they frequently acquire small tusks and pieces of ivory in the confiscated 
lots. It is illegal in Sudan to sell tusks of less than 5 kg. 

It appears that the Sudan authorities may have been unfairly criticised by the 
international community for the recent large amounts exported: much of this 
was illegal ivory bearing Sudan certificates of origin. Caldwell (1984) shows 
that Hong Kong imported 214 tonnes from Sudan in 1981, and 219 tonnes in 1982. 
The official statistics within the Ministry of Commerce show the total exports 
of raw ivory from Sudan as being 19.6 and 57.2 tonnes for the same two years. 
Of these total exports there were none to Hong Kong in 1981 and only 4.9 
tonnes in 1982. In 1981 Belgium imported 6.7 tonnes, India 4.3 tonnes, the 
Arab Gulf states 4.1 tonnes and Spain 3 tonnes. In 1982 the bulk of exports 
went to Belgium (36 tonnes), the German Federal Republic (12 tonnes) and Hong 
Kong as stated. I heard the same explanation for the large discrepancy from 
two independent sources: large amounts of illegal ivory, including some from 
Zaire, Chad and C.A.R., had been exported from free ports across the Red Sea 
bearing forged certificates of origin from Sudan. 

The Director of Wildlife Conservation felt very strongly that shipments from 
free ports should not be accepted by consumer countries because they are 
almost invariably illegal stock. Recently the Sudanese Government has banned 
all shipping across the Red Sea by smail vessels in an attempt to curb illegal 
exports. Dr. El Rayah Hasaballa also felt that all major shipments arriving at 
ports such as Hong Kong and Tokyo should be referred back to the originating 
countries for confirmation of the validity of export documents (he gave an 
example of one legal permit issued by the Sudanese authorities for 2 tonnes of 
ivory which had been skillfully altered to read 62 tonnes). Indeed, copies of 
all import permits issued by importing countries should automatically be 
posted to the CITES Management Authority of the exporting country concerned. 
All Dr. El Rayah's suggestions are included in the first section of this 

[Note: since the 5th CITES meeting in Buenos Aires these recommendations have 
been incorporated into the ivory trade procedures. ] 

I had the opportunity to talk with one of the largest ivory merchants in Sudan 
and hear his views on the subject. The family concerned had been in the ivory 
trade since the previous century and the grandfather of the present head of 
house had been involved in slave trade, using slaves as porters for ivory. It 
was clear that the gentleman concerned was in charge of a major financial 


empire, and he frequently checked his telex machine during the course of our 
discussions. His expertise in ivory was obvious: he identified for me the many 
different types of tusks in the trade which all have characteristic names, and 
spoke with considerable authority. 

He was vehement on the matter of illegal trade and thoroughly agreed with the 
recent ban on exports, which he felt had greatly curbed the flow of ivory. As 
a legitimate trader he resented strongly the fact that the illegal competition 
was evading the taxes due to Government and selling at prices below the true 
market value (the Sudanese Government charges a 35% export duty on ivory and a 
surcharge of one Sudanese pound for every pound of ivory, and legal shipments 
also require veterinary certificates and CITES permits). He also had confirmed 
examples of corrupt customs officials in importing countries who allowed 
documents for shipments of as little as 5 tonnes to cover amounts as great as 
40 tonnes. In some cases photocopies of expired permits were being used and in 
others several shipments were being allowed to enter on a single permit with a 
six-month validity. He thought that the 1983 exports from Sudan amounted to 
some 75 tonnes of legal ivory and 400 tonnes which was illegal, with the main 
staging point for the latter being Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. 

In his view the Sudan elephant population was still high but had lost all 
large tuskers - he recalled wistfully the days when he had dealt in tusks as 
large as 150 1b. He was opposed to the trade being reopened to all and sundry, 
and felt that when the quota system was introduced the Government should 
parcel it out to established reputable traders on the basis of past foreign 
currency earnings, and exclude Johnny-come-latelys (This argument sounds 
remarkably similar to one which I hear frequently from safari operators in 
Zimbabwe!). He felt that an appropriate quota would be about 60 tonnes. 
Finally, he made the very important point that international trade regulations 
could do nothing to save the elephant in the Sudan: the only thing that woul d 
do so would be improved internal administration and policing. 

A major initiative is being taken by the Governments in Sudan, C.A.R., Gabon, 
Cameroon and the Congo to prevent the export of each other's ivory and to 
combat poaching. Zaire, Chad and Uganda are also expected to participate in 
the near future. The Ministerial Conference of the Central African States for 
the Wildlife Conservation (MCCASWC) has established a fund for operations and 
a Secretary, who will be resident in Sudan, has begun collecting 
subscriptions. The organisation intends es tablishing highly mobile 
anti-poaching units who have the right to cross borders (“hot-pursuit") in the 
course of apprehending poachers. The revenues from confiscations will be 
repatriated to the countries of origin. 


Although Chad is large (1 284 000 sq km) the northern third of the country is 
true Sahara desert, and the middle third is arid Sahelian zone. The desert is 
moving southwards at an appreciable rate: it appears that a long term climatic 
change towards increased aridity is affecting the country. The human 
population is some 5 million. The recent war has left Chad destitute and the 
country is struggling to repair war damage and resurrect its economy. As in 
Sudan and Ethiopia, there is a major human crisis caused by the drought. 
Indeed, wildlife issues are a minor problem in Chad at the moment. 

Chad is not a member of CITES, but is anxious to become one. I found that 

whilst they had heard of the Washington Convention, CITES was almost an 
unknown quantity to them. They felt that much as they would like to join, the 


participation fees would be impossible to raise in the country's present 

The administration of wildlife in Chad falls under the control of the 
Ministére du tourisme, des eaux et foréts. There are some 400 people working 
in Parks and Reserves, and 600 in forestry. Many of these were not paid at all 
during the war years, and it is only recently that salary payments are 
returning to normal. There are two National Parks in the country (parce 
national de Zakouma (300 sq km) and parc national de Manda (1140 sq km)), and 
7 Game Reserves, 5 of which contain elephant (Mandelia (1380 sq km), Bahr 
Salamat (20 600 sq km), Siniaka-Minia (4260 sq km), 1l'Abou Terfan (1100 sq km) 
and Binder Here (1350 sq km)). The remaining two reserves are Fada Archai 
(2110 sq km) and Ouadi Rimé/Ouadi Achim (80 000 sq km). 

During my stay in the country I was.fortunate to have two meetings with the 
Minister who briefed me on many of the current problems of the country. He was 
anxious to make it clear that if ivory is leaving Chad illegally, it is 
totally against the wishes of the Government, who are working towards 
restoring elephant populations and wish to use the resource wisely. 

The administrative and technical staff of the Department were of a very high 
calibre with a strong commitment to conservation. Every moment of the 5 days 
in Chad was spent in working sessions, and the staff gave no thought to office 
hours or weekends. We frequently worked late into the evenings, and I found 
myself “sucked dry” by the end of the day! The results of every session were 
reported to the Minister, and in our final meeting I found that he was totally 
briefed on all aspects of the material we had covered. I was told that I was 
the first person from the international conservation scene to visit Chad for 
Many years, and it appeared that the staff had been waiting for any available 
ear to listen to their problems. 

There is no doubt that the war had a devastating effect on the elephant in the 
country. I was given descriptions of large military trucks loaded with ivory 
destined for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and of a full scale slaughter using 
military weapons which was reminiscent of events in Uganda in the previous 
decade. The bitterness towards their northern neighbour was considerable: not 
only does the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya still occupy a large part of Chad, but it 
also occupies the richest area with oil and minerals. In the chaos that 
prevailed during the war many poachers from other nations such as C.A.R., 
Kenya, Sudan and Eritrea took advantage of the situation. Recently 161 tusks 
of Chad origin were confiscated in Nigeria. Chad has now signed an agreement 
with C.A.R. to restore organised customs systems and to control illegal 
hunting using paramilitary troops. 

Before the outbreak of war in 1979 Chad ran an organised system of hunting by 
foreign tourists and residents, and all tusks were registered and stamped with 
the permit number, a letter code designating whether it was left or right 
tusk, the year, and the weight. This system collapsed after 1979, and ivory 
was being licensed and granted export permits by any petty official in any 
district of the country. The authorities are now struggling to restore the 
earlier system, but hunting by the military is still a problem. During the war 
the Chief of the Division of Fauna was imprisoned for attempting to prevent 
elephant hunting, and the Director-General was forced to sign export documents 
with a pistol pointed at this head. The Minister is now insisting on a single 
person in N'Djamena as the only authorised signatory for permits and export 


Government ivory in Chad used to be sold through a parastatal called Domaines, 
and sales were either by auction or at a fixed government price for small 
amounts. Small amounts were also sold to carvers in the districts from the 
Prefecture offices, but the carving industry in Chad is not large. Most ivory 
originated from confiscations, with perhaps 10 elephant being shot annually on 
control hunting. Possession of any tusks under 5 kg is totally forbidden, and 
such tusks when seized by Government are not exported but used locally. 
Illegal possession of tusks over 5 kg is punishable by heavy fines and 
imprisonment with hard labour. There is no reward system for handing in found 
ivory. Imports of raw tusks are not permitted. Chad will consider allowing 
private dealers to operate again once they have drawn up new rules for the 
ivory trade. Official exports in 1983 were 1723 tusks weighing 10.6 tonnes, 
and in 1984 there were 498 tusks weighing 3.7 tonnes. Imports recorded in Hong 
Kong were 29 tonnes and 31 tonnes for the same two years (Caldwell, 1984). A 
large proportion of these exports was clearly illegal. The price for ivory is 
astonishingly low - about US $7/kg. 

The authorities in Chad regard one of their biggest problems as being the 
large amount of illegal ivory still remaining throughout the country in hidden 
caches. They were considering an amnesty such as that declared in Sudan in 
1973 (Parker, 1979), allowing people to bring tusks in and register them 
legally on payment of a government tax. We discussed this at length, and came 
up with an alternative scheme which, instead of legalising the tusks, involved 
Government purchasing the tusks at a price which was considerably higher than 
that which the present holders were used to getting from illegal dealers. The 
value of ivory in Chad is so low that the authorities felt that a price of the 
order of US $20/kg would be absolutely certain to secure any outstanding 
ivory. This could then be sold at the prevailing international trade price 
with a part of the profits going to the Treasury and the rest being used to 
re-establish the Wildlife Department. This proposal is being followed up at 

Central African Republic 

The area of the country is 622 984 sq km and the population is some 2 500 000 
people, making C.A.R. one of the least densely settled areas in Africa. This 
may be the result of the slave trade which persisted as recently as 1939, and 
the conscription system implemented by the French for the rubber plantations. 
At present there is a net urban drift of people further depleting the rural 
areas. The entire eastern third of the country is virtually unsettled (Vakaga, 
Haut Kotto, Haut Mbomou, and Mbomou provinces), and is prime elephant habitat 
(forest savanna). No surveys have been carried out since the work of Spinage 
(1978) who estimated the elephant population at 70 000 + 10 000. 

[Note: a survey has recently been conpleted by Douglas-Hamilton (June 1985) 
which indicates a major decline.] 

The exploitation of elephant in C.A.R. is comprehensively covered by Froment 
(1985), whose report is a chronicle of perhaps the worst administrative 
system, the most inept financial management and the least effective elephant 
conservation methods in Africa. The Bokassa regime can be blamed for a large 
part, but the situation is still deplorable. I will bring out only the ma jor 
points from Froment's report. 

The large numbers of elephant killed during Bokassa's reign led the new 

Government in 1979 to ban all hunting. This served only to promote illegal 
exports through Cameroon, Chad and the Congo. The loss to the state of these 


illegal exports caused them to resume the commerce in ivory at the end of 
1981, and hunting was reopened in 1982. A quota of 200 elephant was provided 
for hunting. the country exported 22 000 legal tusks in 1982 - 83. The vast 
majority (91%) of these were represented as coming from neighbouring 
countries, but in fact the majority were from C.A.R. Dealers acquired false 
certificates of origin, mainly in Zaire, and then “imported” their own ivory 
into C.A.R. on payment of a nominal tax. 

The ivory trade in C.A.R. is run by a highly efficient network of illegal 
hunters, field buyers and large dealers. It is probably the only country left 
in Africa which still allows the practice of “collection”. Before the days of 
sophisticated weapons a collector was given a permit to buy found ivory from 
villagers. Now the collector drives a large truck with a container and 
dispenses weapons to rural dwellers, who pay for them with ivory (the 
collector is now finding that a Toyota Land Cruiser suffices - there is very 
little ivory left to collect). The tusks obtained by the collector are not 
marked, registered or at any time handled by the wildlife authorities, from 
the point of acquisition in the field to the moment of export. No laws are 
being broken. The authorities feel that they are left with Hobson's choice: if 
they stop the practice of collection it will merely promote an illegal traffic 
through other countries; either way, the elephant will be eradicated. 

Apart from a small effort in the Manuou Gounda St. Floris National Park, there 
is virtually no effective anti-poaching work. 

Froment estimates that, over and above exports, some 15 - 30 tonnes of raw 
ivory are used in the internal carving industry, all of which is illegal. 
C.A.R. exports most of this worked ivory to West Africa, and despite an 
extremely low export tax, the majority leaves the country illegally. The 
Government earns some US $3000 on such exports. The country has a restriction 
forbidding the export of tusks under 10 kg. Recently large numbers of polished 
tusks under this weight limit have been exported under the heading “works of 
art" to Hong Kong. 

Froment recommends that: 

a) All ivory dealing should be banned, particularly the practice of 

b) All ivory imports should be prohibited. 

c) Raw ivory exports should be prohibited, and all ivory acquired should be 
used to sustain the internal carving industry. 

d) All elephant hunting should be suspended for a period of two years, during 
which time the authorities would deal with the illegal hunting. Elephant 
hunting should be reopened with area-specific quotas rigidly enforced by 
the authorities. 

e) Government should become the sole source of supply for ivory and should 
conduct all sales. 

f£) All artisans carving ivory should be registered and should submit regular 
returns to Government of all stocks of raw ivory which they hold, 
indicating the numbers marked on the tusks by Government. 

g) Government should enforce all the provisions of its latest Wildlife 
Ordinance 84.045 of 27 July, 1984, which provides protective measures for 
wildlife and ruies for the control of hunting. 


h) All tusks should be marked and registered by Government. 

i) Government should reinstate a system of rewards for civil servants who are 
responsible for the apprehension of poachers and whose actions result in 
the seizure of illicit ivory. 

j) The work of civil servants should be regularly inspected both in field 
stations and headquarters to promote a high level of efficiency and to 
control corruption. 

k) The field staff complement should be increased. At present there is only 
one forest guard per 2 600 sq kn. 

1) The working budget of the High Commission for Tourism, Water, Forests, 
Hunting and Fishing should be increased. At present this budget is about 
US $22,000, yet the High Commission is responsible for generating some 
US $12 million annually. 

m) The National Centre for the Protection and Management of Wildlife (CNPAF) 
should be allocated funds for anti-poaching work. At present it derives a 
large part of its revenue from taxes on ivory exports, which will clearly 
be lost when the preceding measures are implemented. 

n) Anti-poaching activities in the National Parks should be expanded, and 
should include the training and equipping of teams, and the construction 
of bush roads to provide rapid access to remote areas. 

o) Tourism should be promoted to generate revenue within the National Parks. 

p) Further protected areas should be delineated in the dense forest regions, 
both to protect the vegetation and the forest elephants, gorillas, 
chimpanzees, giant forest hogs and bongos. 

q) Government should insist on a conservation input from safari operators who 
have concessions in hunting areas. At present such operators are present 
on a seasonal basis only. 

r) A census of elephant populations in C.A.R. should be undertaken by 
competent researchers. [This has been done] 

s) There should be a study of wildlife utilisation as it is at present, 
leading to the formulation of future policies and strategies. 

t) Data gathering systems should be established for recording essential 
statistics relating to the ivory trade, and for determining the 
contribution made by wildlife to the national economy. 

u) A system of monthly and annual reporting should be established for the 
wildlife department, and for safari operators and artisans. 

While I was in C.A.R. a very significant amount of international funding was 
made available to begin a project instigated by Froment which incorporated the 
above recommendations, and the Government intends issuing a new Ordinance 
embodying most of the points. [Recent advice from Douglas-Hamilton indicates 
that the recommendations have been implemented] 

I support all of the above recommendations. If anything further should be 
added, perhaps it would be a long term move to integrate the internal carvers 


with the hunting industry which provides their ivory and thus achieve a degree 
of interdependence between them. Government must open negotiations with the 
two groups and attempt to engender a responsibility on their parts towards the 
wildlife resource. Unlike the countries which follow in this section, C.A.R. 
is not necessarily a suitable area _ for the “legalised poaching” 
recommendation. The areas with elephant have a negligible human population and 
the illegal hunting is primarily carried out by people not normally resident 
in the area. The only solution is to stamp out this form of hunting through 
effective anti-poaching methods. 

As mentioned under Chad and Sudan in this section, moves are under way to 
foster regional co-operation amongst the ivory producing countries in this 
part of Africa. Zaire has asked C.A.R. not to permit the import of any 
consignments of ivory unless accompanied by full CITES documentation issued in 
Kinshasa. A shipment worth US $4 million originating from C.A.R. was recently 
seized in the Congo. While I was in CiA.R. meetings were taking place with the 
Sudan authorities on anti-poaching. 

In the view of the Haut Commissaire, Raymond Mbitikon, who is well respected 
and probably the main hope for conservation in C.A.R., the ivory trade has 
probably peaked out. Hunting and collection are likely to be stopped in the 
near future. Mbitikon views regional co-operation as a very important step in 
improving matters. 

The authorities in C.A.R. were particularly interested in the IPEC proposals. 
They saw the solution to many of their internal marketing problems being 
solved by such a body, particularly if importing countries respect the 
organisation. They felt that IPEC could not only provide the most efficient 
marketing system, but like OPEC, its objectives should be to make the resource 
last a long time. They pointed out the existence of a similar organisation for 
the marketing of timber in central Africa. 

The price of ivory is extremely low in C.A.R.: the poacher obtains no more 
than US $6 - 8 per kg, and government sales realise at best US $10 - 14 kg. My 
first reaction was that someone was making a killing somewhere - but it is not 
inside the country. I purchased worked ivory in the market place, which is the 
ultimate test of hidden profits by middle men, and found that bangles which 
should have been costing $100 were selling for $10. This pattern was to be 
repeated in most central African countries. It is very clear that they are 
being exploited by both worked and raw ivory importers in the world at large. 
Not only are they obtaining a trivial price for their ivory, but the remaining 
value of elephant carcases including the skin, meat and bones is not being 
realised at all. 

C.A.R. has a government system of rewards for found ivory, but people find it 
more profitable to sell to the collector. Amounts of confiscated ivory within 
the districts are very low, and this is usually sold out of hand to local 
artisans in the area. C.A.R. has set a minimum tusk weight of 10 kg for 
export, although Government may export smaller tusks. 

To sum up the situation in C.A.R.: whilst there is no doubt that a massive 
anti-poaching effort is needed (which is probably beyond the resources 
available in the country), such an effort will be wasted unless internal 
controls are improved. The present rules actually facilitate illegal hunting, 
and without a major overhaul of administrative procedures things are unlikely 
to improve. 



Cameroon is 475 425 sq km in area with a population of 9 million people. The 
population density is highest in the West and Central provinces, while large 
parts of the country are totally uninhabited. Rainfall follows a gradient from 
about 500mm in the north near Lake Chad to about 2000 mm in the centre of the 
country and decreases to 1500 mm in the south. Rainfall in the western bulge 
is as high as 4000 mm. The Sudano-Zambesian savannas in the centre and north 
of the country are prime elephant habitat, and densities are frequently as 
high outside of protected areas as within. A feature of land planning is the 
presence of buffer zones around National Parks, and these are used as hunting 
areas (some 27 have been established). Drought is affecting the elephant 
population in Waza National Park in the north of the country, where there is 
both a water shortage and damage to the vegetation. The authorities feel that 
culling might be necessary. 

I was privileged to meet the délégue général au Tourisme, Dr. Abdoulaye 
Souaibou, who informed me that Cameroon welcomes working with international 
organisations such as CITES and views wildlife as a valuable resource, 
Cameroon favoured the quota system and would do all in its power to make it 
work, Although they have not exported ivory for over two years and now use all 
their production internally, they would like to have an export quota to 
prevent certain people inside the country taking for granted the supply of 
ivory to the domestic carving industry. The quota system would also give them 
additional power within the country to resist demands for increased numbers of 
hunting licences. They were concerned that they did not have sufficient 
knowledge of their elephant numbers, 

The Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Mr. David Momo, explained to me 
the structure of the administrative system in Cameroon. The wildlife division 
has a staff of some 600 people who cover 10 provinces. 

Cameroon is fortunate in having a strict control on arms and ammunition and 
thus illegal hunting is not as high as in neighbouring countries. The 
collection of ivory (as described under C.A.R.) was banned in 1982 and there 
has been a sharp drop in poaching as a result. A network of paid informers 
helps to reduce illegal trade. Anyone in Cameroon may buy ivory provided it is 
accompanied by a certificate of ownership which is issued by the Department on 
payment of a tax. Illegal ivory cannot obtain such certificates. The number of 
elephant killed by poachers can be estimated as it is difficult to conceal the 
carcases and the authorities fairly soon learn of their whereabouts. The worst 
poaching is in the north of the country where Nigerians are the main culprits, 
although a large amount of the general poaching is primarily for meat. In the 
south poaching is entirely by Cameroonians for both ivory and meat. 

Hunting is banned in the extreme north near Lake Chad, and about 100 - 200 
elephant are taken on licence in the remainder of the country annually. The 
annual quota of big game licences is seldom fully used. These are taken by 
international sportsmen and residents who may sell the tusks to the carving 
industry, but generally prefer to keep them as trophies. Crop protection 
accounts for a small number of tusks. There is a minimum size limit of 5 kg 
for tusks taken by hunting, but this does not apply to exports. 

Most ivory is sent to the capital, Yaounde, but the délégue général may 
authorise the sale of tusks to local artisans within the region where they 
have been confiscated. Government ivory is sold by Domaines in conjunction 
with the wildlife authorities, and such sales are generally by auction. I 
visited the ivory store in Yaounde and saw about 400 tusks. The average weight 


was about 12 kg which is very high compared to C.A.R. or Chad. 95% of the 
tusks were from confiscations with the balance being found or shot on control. 
A few tusks which had been cut into pieces were confiscations from carving 
industries. There were some fine specimens of forest elephant tusks from the 
south-east of the country. I was told that there were about another 200 tusks 
in the government store in the Northern province. Cameroon is not yet marking 
its tusks in accordance with CITES procedures but plans to introduce the 
system soon. The price of ivory is low by international standards, although 
far higher than in countries such as Chad and C.A.R. - carvers pay about 
US $15/kg on the illegal market and the price on official sales seldom exceeds 
about US $30/kg. 

A bureau has been established (1984) under the Ministry of Commerce and 
Industry to register all artisans in the country. Ivory carvers are among the 
most difficult to register as they avoid advertising their presence. The 
objective is to form a strong association of carvers and begin to study their 
ivory requirements so that the supply can be regulated legally by the 
Government. At present there is still a large illegal component in the carving 
trade, and I observed that when we visited a carving establishment several of 
the individuals ran away when they caught sight of the Chief of the Hunting 
Services in the vehicle. He explained to me that Service often raids these 
cottage industries and arrests people if any unlicensed tusks are found. I 
have frequently heard experts in the ivory trade say that it would be 
impossible to control these small carving industries in this part of Africa. iL 
am not at all sure that this is the case. I have seen it done in Zimbabwe, and 
in Cameroon I saw clear evidence that the artisans had a healthy respect for 
the authorities, who are very successful in confiscating illegal tusks. 

I visited the “Artisanat" in Yaounde which is a bazaar for the sale of worked 
ivory and other items of locally crafted jewellery and curios. It was here 
that I met the most persistent and aggressive salesmen in Africa. When I 
showed interest in a large ivory bangle which was over 100 years old the 
vendor followed me for three days all over the city, and finally to the 
airport in order to effect a sale! The Cameroon art forms are superior to most 
in Africa and many pieces are collectors' items. I feel strongly that a large 
amount of ivory going into local carving industries in Africa is totally 
wasted in the production of tasteless items which, while they may be sold, are 
an insult to the medium in which they are carved. Cameroon, through its 
attempts to control and limit the carving trade, and with its rich artistic 
heritage, may be one of the first countries to weed out the inferior products 
and the people producing them. 

The standard of administration in Cameroon is relatively high and elephant 
populations appear secure. The biggest problem is the illegal traffic of tusks 
to the carving industry, which may use a tonnage as high as in C.A.R. The 
authorities are well aware of the problem and are taking measures to control 


The area of the country is 267 658 sq km with a population of under 2 million. 
Rural densities are declining as people migrate to the cities. Gabon has oil 
and is one of the richest countries in Africa on an income per capita basis. 
The country has a very high rainfall, the minimum being 1400 mm and the 
highest in excess of 3000 mm. Much of the country is covered with dense 
tropical forest which may not be optimum habitat for elephant. A study is 
about to be undertaken by Richard Barnes under the auspices of the New York 


Zoological Society which may provide long-awaited information on typical 
elephant densities in these habitats. 

A feature of Gabon that makes it different to other ivory producing countries 
is the presence of a significant market for worked ivory within the country. 
Some 35 000 French residents purchase large quantities of worked ivory 
annually which is exported regularly to France. There is no need for Gabon to 
concern itself with raw ivory exports; it is far better to work ivory and sell 
it in the country. Many of the neighbouring countries are equally alive to the 
Gabon market; worked ivory from Zaire, Cameroon, C.A.R. and the Congo finds 
its way to the Libreville market, and indeed many of the carvers in Gabon are 
nationals of other countries. Very little of the worked ivory enters the 
country legally and very few of the tusks carved in the country are legally 
acquired. I visited an emporium which was run from the private home of a 
Frenchwoman who had a reputation for selling high quality pieces.The prices 
were very high on all items and representative of the international market. 
However, my mere presence in the establishment threw the saleslady into a cold 
sweat as she feared I represented the "law" and was looking for evidence of 
illegally obtained products. If I hadn't been the slightest bit suspicious 
when I entered the place, I certainly was by the time I left. I was assured 
that all the ivory was legally purchased and worked from tusks originating in 
Gabon - despite the fact that I had not even asked the question. Ivory selling 
in the street was far cheaper: bracelets which should have cost about $50 were 
selling at about $20 and the price of ivory in polished tusks was about $25 
per kg. These were the highest prices I saw anywhere in central Africa, 
although they were less than half of the price in Zimbabwe, Tanzania or 
Botswana. The French are well aware of the advantages of buying ivory in Gabon 
and many take significant quantities to France for resale. 

The present policies for wildlife management in Gabon are under review at the 
moment. President Bongo is strongly committed to conservation and has taken 
the move of banning all hunting in his own province. The Director of Water, 
Forests and Hunting informed me that the country is in the process of 
restoring its Game Reserves (it does not have any gazetted National Parks), 
which are surrounded by hunting zones. It is hoped to increase the existing 
staff of some 300 employed in the Ministry in the near future, and introduce a 
system of rewards for found ivory. “Collection” has never been practised in 

All government raw ivory is routed to Libreville and sold through Domaines, 
Typical prices range from US $11/kg for tusks under 5 kg to $33/kg for tusks 
above 10 kg, and sales are by auction with some international buyers present. 
Although buyers are allowed to export, a negligible amount leaves the country. 
The extent of illegal exports of raw ivory from Gabon is unknown, but the 
Director believes that this is mainly ivory which has entered Gabon illegally. 

Perhaps illegal hunting in Gabon has recently become significant. It is mainly 
done by outsiders - nationals of Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. In a 
newspaper article in Libreville a Gabonaise hunter (being something of a 
rarity) was interviewed, and explained that he had learned his hunting from 
the Senegalese by working for them over a number of years. I was told that the 
Gabonaise are in general afraid of elephant, and that they are sacred to many 
tribes. Gabon elephant are reputed to be small and aggressive and the locals 
avoid them. (I find difficulty in accepting this as it doesn't seem to bother 
the foreign hunters.) Pygmies are frequently employed to do the hunting, and 
the Gabonaise buy the ivory from them very cheaply, using pirogues on the 
extensive river systems to transport tusks to Libreville. In certain areas 
ex-patriate Europeans are also involved. The French airforce, which does not 


go through customs checks and which is able to move freely between many 
central African countries, is said to have transported several shipments out 
of the country. There is a significant Lebanese community in Gabon which is 
reported to be exporting large amounts of ivory to Hong Kong. The above items 
of information were given to me by people selling worked ivory in Libreville. 

Officially there is no worked ivory market in Gabon. Promogabon, which is an 
agency established to promote the development of small industries, has been 
unable to locate a single Gabonaise ivory carver, and the only artisan which 
they did find was a foreign national. Artisans carving ivory are not 
registered and it is known that they use mainly illegal ivory in their craft. 
The Director estimates that only about 30 % of this is of Gabon origin. Under 
the new laws all artisans will be registered and will have to use only marked 
and registered tusks in their work. 

In Gabon, as in most of the other Central African countries, the domestic 
carving industry is the major problem to be tackled. Obviously the moves being 
made by the authorities are a step in the right direction, but my feeling is 
that if all government steps are totally restrictive it will be very difficult 
to improve matters. Some ideas for positive approaches are given under 
International Administration in this chapter. 

I was left with the feeling that the wildlife authorities in Gabon really only 
took responsibility for the elephant in the Game Reserves and official hunting 
zones, Elephant in the remainder of the country appeared to be an unregistered 
asset with few rules regarding their exploitation. Perhaps I am mistaken. 


After the Sudan, Zaire is the largest country in Africa with an area of 
2 345 410 sq km and a population of some 35 million people, largely 
concentrated in cities, towns and villages, leaving most rural areas sparsely 
populated. The elephant population is perhaps the largest in Africa and 
estimates, such as the one in this report, are based on the flimsiest of data. 

The internal problems in controlling the exploitation of elephant and the flow 
of ivory in Zaire are stupendous. The sheer size of the country and inadequacy 
of communications from one extremity to the other make the task daunting. 
Perhaps here, more than in any country in Africa, is the futility of a 
government attempting to claim a monopoly on a resource such as elephant 
clearly evident. The full might of a small army would be required to implement 
such a policy, and because such an army is not available to the Zaire wildlife 
authorities (indeed, it is working on the opposite side at the moment!) their 
task is Herculean. 

The President banned all hunting at the end of 1983 (at a time when a positive 
project on controlled hunting was being successfully implemented), but the act 
can only be likened to that of King Canute. Elephant continue to be hunted the 
length and breadth of Zaire. Ivory leaves via Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania, 
Uganda, Sudan, C.A.R. and Congo. The damage done by such a ban is 
considerable: it renders the statistics of exports from every surrounding 
country suspect, removes all the positive aspects of legitimate safari hunting 
Operations and projects such as the one mentioned above, and leaves the field 
open for the daring, unscrupulous poacher. The evils in the situation are 
compounded by certain conservation lobbies demanding that the remainder of the 
world refuse to buy Zairian ivory: it is tantamount to saying to Zaire 
“because you banned hunting you can't have any ivory” and ignoring the de 
facto truth that the ivory has materialised nevertheless. “a 


Under the Department of Environment, Conservation of Nature and Tourism are 
two branches both with a responsibility for wildlife: the IZCN (Zaire 
Institute for Conservation of Nature), which is responsible for the National 
Parks and Hunting Areas encompassing about 10% of the country, and the 
Division of Management of Natural Resources which handles the remaining areas. 
I was informed by outsiders that there is a degree of conflict between the two 
branches of the Department partly caused by the fact that the Division of 
Management of Natural Resources has been guilty of issuing numerous hunting 
permits (despite the ban), which do not specify limits on the number of 
animals which may be taken, in every province of the country. The IZCN is one 
of the CITES Scientific Authorities for the country and also plays a major 
part in the Department's role as CITES Management Authority and it is with 
them that I had all my dealings. I cannot stress too highly the degree of 
co-operation I enjoyed with the IZCN staff (whom I found to be highly 
competent): we established an excellent workshop atmosphere from the outset, 
and, as in Chad, very little attention was paid to nominal government working 
hours in the course of completing work which we had undertaken, 

The major source of legal ivory in Zaire is confiscation. In 1984 the 
authorities seized some 1200 tusks weighing 5.5 tonnes. A large part of this 
arose from a shipment found on a private aircraft “in transit" through Zaire, 
and the remainder from poachers caught in the act. Almost no found ivory is 
returned to Government and the hunting ban precludes any killing for crop 
protection. Confiscated tusks are deposited in banks in the regions, prior to 
being moved to Kinshasa. Such ivory is graded and used to be sold to private 
dealers though the Office national de l'ivoire, although there have been no 
sales recently, pending the formulation of a new policy. The typical prices in 
such sales were about US $7/kg: the rate paid to poachers in the field is 
similar, and the dealers in Kinshasa buy illegal ivory at about US $25/kg. It 
is clear that the government price is very low, and an outsider might be 
forgiven for concluding that such a price indicates a degree of connivance 
between sellers and buyers. 

The pattern of illegal hunting in Zaire is not what might be expected. Males 
with big tusks are very difficult to hunt as they tend to seek refuge in the 
depths of the forest. The tendency is to kill complete cow herds whenever they 
appear in open savanna type country where the visibility is good. Little 
illegal hunting takes place close to villages: the local population is only 
too willing to report poachers in the hopes of a reward. Elephant have learnt 
that there is a certain safety in the proximity of villages, and tend to 
congregate near them. This results in severe crop raiding, about which the 
authorities can do nothing because of the hunting ban. The situation would be 
amusing if it were not so serious. 

The domestic carving industry consumes a large amount of illegal ivory , 
mainly small tusks. Prices in the market in Kinshasa are very low: an ivory 
bracelet worth US $50 sells at about US $10; a pair of polished tusks weighing 
about 7 kg sells at US $35 ($5/kg). I was informed that very little ivory came 
from areas near Kinshasa: most of it was being transported considerable 
distances. The authorities fully appreciate the problem and are trying to make 
an inventory of artisans at the moment. Their plan is to sell the existing 
stock of confiscated ivory to the carvers while exports are prohibited. By 
allowing the continued sale of ivory products worked from unlicensed tusks 
they are in fact sanctioning the illegal trade: with the hunting ban in force 
it should be almost impossible for the artisans to obtain ivory. 

There is a need for the Zaire Government to face the fact that control of the 
exploitation of elephant in a country as large as theirs is impossible with 


present numbers of staff, and with inadequate funds and equipment. As none of 

the above is likely to be forthcoming in the near future (or ever) there is 

only one option: a radical change in policy. The Government should seek a 

solution which uses the only real resource at its disposal - a population of 

millions of people. If the rural dwellers take over the husbandry of the: 
elephant, with Government exercising an element of control, there is greater 

hope for the long term future than if present policies are pursued. A proposal 

to legalise poaching was discussed with the Zaire authorities (Appendix 14). 

Zaire has nothing to lose by attempting such a scheme and, if it is 

successful, they could lead the field in conservation in Africa. 


The Congo is underpopulated with a population of about 2 million people in an 
area of 342 000 sq km. As in Gabon, \there is an urban drift causing reduced 
rural densities. The lowest densities of humans occur in the north and west of 
the country, where the climate is equatorial and sub-equatorial with areas of 
dense tropical forest. The technical staff of Eaux et foréts informed me that 
the forest areas in Congo held higher elephant populations than the savanna, 
and that there were no “savanna” elephant in the Congo - only the forest and 
pygmy types. Estimates of elephant numbers, including the one in this report, 
are pure speculation. However, if the figures from the ivory trade are correct 
- even if half the tusks originate from Zaire - there should be thousands of 

I arrived in Congo shortly after the previous CITES Management Authority had 
been replaced with new incumbents and regrettably had far too little time to 
really cover much ground. The new secrétaire général of Eaux et foréts and his 
staff very graciously worked outside government working hours in order that we 
should achieve as much as possible. The quota system was approved in the 
Congo, but the authorities saw difficulties in implementing it. The biggest 
problem was the question of the number of elephant in the country, and there 
was the further problem of ivory from neighbouring countries entering the 
Congo illegally. However, the recent improvements in regional co-operation 
might reduce the flow. The Congo authorities now repatriate ivory confiscated 
from other countries, provided they can be sure of the origin: the problem is 
that illegal ivory usually carries little documentation. 

The main source of ivory is from hunting permits of which about 300 per year 
are issued. Confiscation seldom yields more than 200 tusks per year, there is 
no control hunting, and very little is recovered from natural mortality. The 
Government sells all ivory to private dealers in the country, and tusks are 
marked according to the CITES procedures agreed in New Delhi, 1981. Typical 
ivory prices range from US $10/kg for tusks under 5 kg to US $50/kg for tusks 
above 20 kg. The country has a policy not to export tusks of less than 5 kg, 
and the hunting of animals with tusks below this limit is forbidden. 

The Congo authorities favoured the introduction of a cropping system for 
elephant on the lines of the legalised poaching proposal for Zaire. Their view 
was that they already had a similar system for the exploitation of timber from 
forests which could easily be extended to include elephant. They pointed out 
that the risks of overexploitation, with Government having a monopoly, were as 
great as they would be with the rural communities utilising elephant - in fact 
they feared a situation where a person at a high level in Government might 

easily override their recommendations for hunting quotas and over-exploit the 



Zimbabwe has a population of about 8 million people increasing at a rate of at 
least 3.6% per annum in an area of 390 580 sq km. The elephant range is 
restricted to the periphery of the country in low rainfall areas (less than 
800 mm year in average years), with elephant occurring in National Parks, 
Safari Areas, Forest Land, Communal Land and private land. 

legislation introduced in 1975 allows all game outside of gazetted protected 
areas to be used and managed by the landowner. This caused a proliferation of 
game ranching on private farms within the country, and in many areas game is 
beginning to replace cattle totally. The success of such operations was 
demonstrated in the recent two drought years, where farmers with game survived 
the drought and many made profits. To produce a profit the ranch relies on a 
combination of sport hunting, meat harvesting and secondary industries such as 
tanning of hides, carving work and fabrication of leather products (Child, 
1984). The task facing the wildlife authorities at the moment is to extend 
this system of private ownership to the communal lands of Zimbabwe, where the 
Government at the moment still manages the wildlife pending the readiness of 
local communities to take over. Programmes are under way to achieve this 
(Martin, 1983; Martin, 1985). At present all money made from wildlife on 
communal land is returned by the Government to the local communities: this has 
amounted to over 2 million dollars in the last two years. 

The main source of ivory in Zimbabwe is from culling operations in the Parks 
and Wildlife Estate. Ivory also originates from control hunting, confiscation 
and natural mortality. Apart from safari hunting trophies, all ivory moves 
from the provinces to the government ivory store in Harare. The large 
consignments of ivory from culling operations are marked in the provinces with 
the final registration number that they will carry on the government sales; 
other tusks are given a local number when entered into the ivory registers of 
field stations and are renumbered in Harare. 

All ivory is sold on government auctions held 3 or 4 times a year using a 
private firm of professional auctioneers to conduct sales. Ivory is divided 
into “embargo” and “non-embargo" lots, the former for use in local industries 
and therefore not being allowed to leave the country, and the latter being for 
export. The need for Government to regulate the balance between the amount of 
ivory exported and the amount held in the country may soon fall away with the 
proportions being determined by free market processes. At present there is 
little difference between the prices paid for both types and Zimbabwe dealers 
compete for both embargo and non-embargo lots. In the future it is envisaged 
that all ivory will be consumed internally, but it will probably be advisable 
to allow international buyers to continue to compete for the ivory in order to 
prevent cartels forming amongst the local buyers. Small amounts of ivory may 
be sold out of hand from the ivory store between auctions, and the price for 
such lots is determined by the most recent auction prices. Ivory prices 
realised on the auctions are the highest in Africa and this is largely a 
result of having the international buyers participating in the auctions. 
Prices paid at the auction in October 1984 were US $20/kg for ivory chips, 
US $62/kg for 5 kg tusks, US $75/kg for 10 kg tusks, and over US $100/kg for 
tusks in excess of 20 kg. 

It has been said of the Zimbabwean ivory prices that they are abnormally high 
because ivory is used as a means for citizens to move wealth out of the 
country. This pertains largely to worked ivory (Bradley Martin, 1984) rather 
than to raw ivory. All ivory bought by foreign dealers is paid for in foreign 
currency at the prevailing bank rates, and if local dealers wish to export 


they have to secure the foreign currency for the Reserve Bank. Any attempt by 
a local dealer to export his ivory at a price lower than that which he paid 
for it would be picked up by the authorities very quickly. 

All ivory dealers, ivory carvers and retail outlets selling worked ivory are 
registered with the authorities and the dealers and carvers pay a licence fee 
to Government. No private citizen other than a registered dealer may buy or 
sell ivory, other than in the odd rare case of a sale of trophy tusks from 
sport hunting (which transaction has to be recorded with the authorities). All 
dealers, carvers and retailers send monthly returns to Government. The dealer 
declares all tusks bought and sold, citing the tusk numbers of each, and the 
carver who received it. Carvers declare all raw ivory bought, including tusk 
numbers and the dealer who provided the tusk, and the mature and description 
of all worked ivory items carved from each tusk and to whom sold. Retailers 
declare the amounts of worked ivory received from carvers, and to whom sold. 
Persons buying worked ivory from retailers are issued with a CITES Form 1 by 
the retailer which will allow the export of worked ivory from the country and 
its import into another country. Whilst the necessity of CITES procedures for 
this worked ivory may be questioned, the authorities choose to implement then, 
not so much to satisfy international requirements as to enforce a high level 
of control and elevate the status of ivory within the country. The above 
system of returns by the various persons engaged in the ivory trade allows 
checking of all tusks from their point of origin to the retail outlet. It may 
appear to require a great deal of clerical work, but this is not actually the 
case. It is only when a particular individual is suspected of fraud that the 
returns need to be inspected in detail. 

If I have any criticism of the worked ivory industry in Zimbabwe it is for the 
low quality of the products produced. Unlike certain central and west African 
countries, Zimbabwe carved ivory consists largely of tasteless replicas of 
wild animals and “westernised" African figures of no aesthetic value 
whatsoever. It is time the local industry employed the best Shona sculptors 
whose work is sought after by international collectors and commands very high 
prices. In this way the industry might do more to justify its use of ivory. 


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Watson, R.M. (1984): Section 7. Wildlife Information. Consultants report to 
the National Range Agency, Government of Somalia. 

Watson, ROMs; Tippett, C.1., Razk, F., Jolly, F., Beckett, J.J., Scoles, V. & 
F, Casbon (1976): Sudan National Livestock Survey and Resource Census. 
Resource Management and Research Ltd., Nairobi. 




1. In the Lake Region (Lac Bol) there are generally very few elephants. 
During the war these emigrated to Nigeria, but are now returning (possibly 









Lac Bol 

Batha (Ati) 

Bongor (Mayo-Kebbi ) 
Tangile & Logon-Orientale 
Moyen Chari (Sarh) 



due to heavy poaching in Nigeria). 

2. The elephant seen in Batha were counted from the air in the desert. 

3. All elephant in Chari-Banguirmi are 
concentration is 80 km north of the capital, and the other 53 km south. 

The elephant population of Chad exceeded 15 000 in 1979. Many animals left the 
country during the war and are now returning. They are now forming very large 
herds which is a typical response to hunting pressure. The only area which was 
relatively undisturbed during the war was the south-east region (Salamat), 
although Sudanese poachers are known to operate there. 

The total area of Chad is 1 284 000 sq km. The majority of this is desert and 
elephant generally occur south of the 400 mm rainfall isohyet giving a range 
of about 400 000 sq km. There may be slightly fewer elephant than expected in 
the highest rainfall zone (1300 mm) in the extreme south-west corner of the 

country, mainly because of agriculture. 


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(See Appendix 4 for Method) 


Area Rain Dmax Max Total E-H/15 FINAL 

sq km mm.x per Ex Pop E Pop 
PROVINCE x1000 1000 sqkm 1000 x1000 x 1000 R1 x1000 
ESTUAIRE 20.1 2.4 ay) 18.2 622.3 -23.2 1 150 
HAUT-OGOOUE 35.3 ee) 1.8 63.5 344.8 40.5 2 4.1 
MOYEN-OGOOUE 18.2 2.0 1.6 29.1 44.0 26.2 2 2.6 
NGOUNIE 38.7 2.0 1.6 61.9 109.0 54.6 2 Dad 
NYANGA 19.6 1.6 2.0 39.2 121.0 31.1 2 Sol 
OGOOUE-IVINDO 44,2 1.7 220 88.4 50.0 85.1 2 8.5 
OGOOUE-LOLO 30.0 1.8 68) 57.0 44.0 54.1 2 5.4 
OGOOUE-MARITIME 24.1 iS) 1.8 43.4 290.4 24.0 2 2.4 
WOLEU-NTEM 37.5 ed 2.0 75.0 184.4 62.7 3 15.7 

TOTAL 48.3 


No data available for ranks R2 and R3. 

The method predicts that elephant should be extinct in Estuaire province. 
There are in fact a few remaining, and these have been arbitrarily 
estimated at 1000. 

Illegal hunting is high throughout Gabon, and hence the rank of 2 for most 
provinces. The reason Woleu-Ntem is ranked 3 is that one half of the 
province is totally unsettled and without access. 

Human populations have been estimated by extrapolating the trends in each 
province during the period 1970-1976. These are not uniformly upward: some 
provinces are increasing at a rate of as much as 8% through immigration, 
while the population in others is declining. 

All data are taken from Geographie et Cartographie du Gabon (1983). 


An estimate has been made for the elephant population of Zaire by combining 
the hypothesis of Parker (1984) with the best available knowledge of the 
technical staff of the IZCN. Parker's hypothesis is that, in the absence of 
human beings, elephant will reach a certain maximum density based on rainfall 
and geology. Because elephants and human beings compete for the same 
resources, the number of elephants will decrease as human _ populations 
increase, and the nature of the relationship is determined largely by the 
metabolic biomass of the two species. 

This method uses the relationship derived by Parker between elephants and 
rainfall, but rather than incorporate his factors for increasing or decreasing 
the density according to geology, I have used local knowledge coupled with 
inspection of the vegetation map for Zaire to perform this adjustment. 

The method entails the following steps: 

1. Zaire has been divided into its 24 sub-regions, and the area of each was 
calculated with a digitiser. 

2, Each province has been assigned a mean rainfall category by inspection of 
the precipitation map for Zaire. 

3. A maximum density for elephant in the absence of humans has_ been 
interpolated from the graph of Parker (1984) showing rainfall versus 

density. The values used are shown in Table 1 of this Appendix. 

4. Provisional elephant populations for each province have been calculated 
using this density and the area of the province. 

5. The human urban population in each province has been estimated from the 
map in Atlas Jeune Afrique, taking into account increase since 1974. 

6. A human rural population density was estimated from the same map and 
adjusted for increase since 1974. 

7. The rural population in each province was calculated using this density 
and the area of the province. 

8. The total human population in each province was obtained by summing urban 
and rural populations. 

9. The human population in each province was then divided by 15 (Parker used 
15.4 humans as the equivalent of an elephant's metabolic biomass), and 

subtracted from the provisional number of elephant derived in Step 4 above. 

10. Using the local knowledge of 8 persons, each province was then ranked on a 
scale of 0 - 5 for three attributes; 

Rl: The current level of illegal hunting. 
R2: The current state of abundance of elephant. 

R3: The suitability of the area for elephant, taking into account the 
vegetation types and the historic knowledge of abundance. 

11. A multiplier factor was then arbitrarily allocated for each ranking and 
this was used to increase or decrease the elephant population estimate 
derived in Step 9. A full list of the criteria for ranking and the 
multiplier factors associated with each ranking are given in Table 2 of 
this Appendix. 

12, The final elephant population estimate in each province is the result of 
three successive multiplications using these factors (Table 3). In cases 
where the result was very small a minimum value of 100 elephant was given 
to the province. 


Parker (1984) is the first to admit that better data are needed to establish 
the relationship between elephant and rainfall than were at his disposal. I 
have examined the data from the different areas which make up Parker's mean 
value in each rainfall category and note that in the lower rainfall classes 
these are not normally distributed. However, East (1984) has given regressions 
for elephant and rainfall up to a maximum rainfall of 700 mm and his and 
Parker's values correspond almost exactly up to 600 mm, at which point 
Parker's curve falls below the linear regression. The three countries in which 
I have applied the relationship all fall into rainfall classes well above this 
level, and it may be that the predicted densities are too high for the types 
of forests involved. Parker also points out that elephant populations are 
seldom stable and fluctuate about some mean value, or are at various stages of 
a stable limit cycle (Caughley, 1974). In the absence of other work on the 
subject, Parker's data provide a useful starting point. 

It seems somewhat crude to subtract one elephant for every 15 human beings in 
the area. Parker (1984) does not use his data in this manner, and may never 
have intended it to be applied in such a way. The technique presupposes a 
complete coincidence of ecological niches, which is not actually the case. 
Parker shows that the relationship between humans and rainfall peaks at a 
slightly lower rainfall than the graph for elephant, but notes that with 
increasing human populations the peak seems to be shifting towards that shown 
by elephant. In this exercise, it is of interest to note that in those 
provinces where a negative result is obtained by subtracting one elephant for 
every 15 humans, elephants are in fact extinct, and in the provinces where a 
very low value or slightly negative value occurs, elephant are almost extinct. 
This lends a first degree of credibility to the method. 

The weakest part of the method lies in the multiplier factors associated with 
different degrees of illegal hunting. I have assumed that over and above the 
relationship derived from Parker (1984), there may be fewer elephant than 
indicated. Parker argues (pers. comm.) that the interaction between humans and 
elephant tends to occur on the interface between expanding human settlement 
and the natural range of the elephant. Therefore there should be no reason to 
go any further than Step 9 of the exercise to predict the number of elephant. 
However, in the countries where the method has been applied, there is strong 
evidence that the illegal hunting is taking place a long way from this 
interface and is not simply a displacement of elephants by humans. The 
multiplier factors I have used to decrease the elephant estimate according to 
the degree of hunting are very severe and should lead to an underestimate of 
elephant if anything. For example, where illegal hunting is classed as high I 

have divided by 10, and if very high, by 20. This assumes 90% and 95% of the 
population respectively has been removed. Notwithstanding, the estimates 
appear very high compared to previous figures. In support of the figures, the 
high sustained yield of ivory in the past (Parker, 1979), recent high tonnages 
(Caldwell, 1984), and the very large undisturbed areas suggest that the 
populations should be large. 

The multiplier factors used for the present knowledge of elephant abundance 
and the suitability of the area for elephant do not affect the results as 
greatly as the factor for illegal hunting. The latter is capable of altering 
the estimate by an order of magnitude, whereas the former will at most double 
or halve the estimate. 

The advantage of the method is that it does subdivide the country into smaller 

Manageable units, and at least give the relative relationship between 

Table 1: Maximum elephant densities in the absence of human presence for a 
range of mean rainfall categories. Data interpolated from the graph 
of Parker (1984). 

Rainfall Density 
(mm ) (/sqkm) 

200 0 
400 ow 


500 3 
600 4 
700 6 
800 8 
900 9 

1000 i 
1100 i! 
1200 ay 
1300 at 
1400 1 

1500 1 
1600 2 
1700 Je 
1800 1 
1900 1 

2000 at 
2100 A. 
2200 1 
2300 1 

Table 2: Ranking criteria and multiplication factors for three parameters 
affecting elephant populations. 

Rl: Illegal Hunting 

Rank Description Multiplier 
0 Elephant exterminated. 0 

1 Intense hunting of all age classes for ivory and meat. 05 

2 High level, selective for ivory, all tusk bearing animals. Bll 

3 Medium level, adults of both sexes, ivory only. B28) 

4 Low level, occasional adult males. 62 

5 No hunting. 1.0 

R2: Known presence of elephant 

Elephant are never seen in area, neither are there signs. 
Very low numbers: occasional signs, rare sightings. 
Below average: known to be present, but not common. 
Average: numbers as expected in this area. i 
Above average: more animals than surrounding areas, ae 
Abundant: Unusual concentrations found in area. 2 

UU pwnr oO 

R3: Suitability of area for elephant: habitat and historic record 

Area unsuitable for elephant, never been know to occur. 
Inhospitable habitat, elephant seldom recorded. : 
Habitat not preferred, elephant historically sparse. A 
Average area for elephant, neither abundant nor rare. iE 
Favourable habitat, elephant historically common. 1. 
Outstanding habitat known for spectacular numbers. 2 

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Omo/Mago Complex.........se200. S00oOD OC BVonsUehevele ..2 000 

Omo National Park 

Mago National Park 

Tama Wildlife Reserve 

Murle-Kenya Controlled Hunting Area 
Alco bam Compile xqrepemoireiereieioheteiercienerene onelene ote eetsaconersreers 4 000 

Gambella Reserve 

Akoba Controlled Hunting Area 

Omo West Controlled Hunting Area 

Jokau Controlled Hunting Area 

Tedo Controlled Hunting Area 
Mizan Teferi & Guraferda ForeSt.......eeeceeeeee2 000 
Harrar Wildlife Sanctuary.............0- sevsieieieian, 2300 

(includes Harrar-Webi Shebele C.H.A. ) 
Bash-Setit Wildlife Reserve...........eeeeee pace Ceo) 
Metekelt and) Dabuis) Valley (GyHyAn. a. ccs cee ci 1400 
Borana’ (Complex (Gee Mote) eyererecele lela’! siesevelels oreo eee 50 

Borana Controlled Hunting Area 

Murle-Kenya Border C.H.A. 

Chew Bahar Wildlife Reserve 
Yabello Wildlife Sanctuary 

TOTAL 9 000 

Note: It is doubtful whether the areas listed in the Borana complex 
contain any elephant. The small estimate has been included as a 
contingency which also rounds the total number up to 9 000. 

The other Protected Areas in Ethiopia do not contain elephant, and 
it is doubtful if there are any elephant outside the above areas. 


All data are taken from Kenya Rangeland Ecological Monitoring Unit (KREMU) 
publication by Stelfox et al. (1984). The Kenya Wildlife Conservation and 

Management Department advises that they regard KREMU as the official source 
for estimates. 

The most recent data from KREMU are for 1983 and certain areas were not 
surveyed during this year. To obtain estimates for the missing areas, I have 
firstly taken those areas which were surveyed in 1977, 1978, 1980-81, and 1983 
to compute a trend factor, and then used the most recent estimates from 
previous years, adjusted for trend, to fill the missing gaps. 

Trend: The following areas were included in all KREMU surveys 

1977 1978 1980-81 1983 

Ka jiado 484 76 646 655 
Retiataast 1586 25 338 YP 
Kitui 2671 4134 3698 699 
Lamu 4916 1909 3535 2118 
Narok 1174 2668 2274 2474 
Taita/Taveta 13324 17552 12898 12291 
Tana River 9483 3565 5745 1340 
TOTALS 33638 29929 29134 19649 

The 1983 totals is 0.67 of the total for 1980-81 and 1978. I have not tested 
for significance and it is quite possible that the trend is not a real one 
owing to the variability of the data. However, I have used 0.67 as the factor 
to interpolate missing estimates in the 1983 data. Interpolated estimates are 
marked with an asterisk. 

1983 estimates 

Baringo 95% 
Garissa 3 661 
Isiolo 1 154% 
Ka jiado 655 
Kilifi 72 
Kitui 699 
Kwale 224 
Laikipia 1 197% 
Lamu 2 118 
Mandera 229% 
Marsabit 155* 
Narok 2 474 
Samburu 626* 
Taita/Taveta 12 291 
Tana River 1 340 
Turkana 775% 
Wa jir 62* 
West Pokot 129* 

TOTAL 27 956 


Figures from Dr. R.H.V. Bell (Senior Parks and Wildlife Officer). 

Area Estimate Limits Source 

Nyika National Park 3134 100 B 
Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve 1000 300 (300-500) A 
Kasungu National Park 2316 800 A 
Nkhotakota Game Reserve 1802 400 (300-500) © 
Thuma Forest Reserve 200 50 D 
Phirilongwe Forest (proposed reserve) 200 100 © 
Liwonde National Park 548 300 A 
Mangochi/Namizumi Area 600 100 D 
Ma jete Game Reserve 690 200 A 

TOTALS 10490 2350 

Sources: A - Aerial Surveys, regular field patrols, dropping counts. 
B - Dropping counts, direct counts. 
C - Preliminary survey, dropping counts. 
D - Informed guess, 
Notes: In Vwaza Marsh G.R. there is some movement in and out of Zambia. 

Kasungu N.P. population is highly localised within the Park. 

Population in Majete G.R. seldom occupies more than 10% of the 
protected area; the majority live in an open area to the north. 
The population of Majete proper is seldom more than 60 animals 
(information from Brian Sherry). 



The following information was given to Iain Douglas-Hamilton by José Tello in 

December 1984, and is reproduced here with Tello's permission. The data are 
based on informed guesses, 

Northern Region (Niassa, Cabo Delgado) 

Ruvuma —- Lugenda West 10 000 
Ruvuma - Lugenda East 5 000 
Remainder of Region 2 000 

Central Region 

Gile Game Reserve & Entre Ri 50 
Zambezi North Bank 200 
Gorongosa National Park 2 000 
Zambezi Valley UT 1 500 
Hunting Block 2 250 
Hunting Block 6 1 000 
Remainder of Region 2 000 
Tete Province 
Zumbo Fingoe 200 
Furancungo 50 
Messenguezi 75 
Chioco 25 
Southern Mozambique 
Save-Busi 500 
Zinave 500 
Banhine 750 
Emofauna area (Limpopo) 50 
Olifanti-Incomati 0 
Maputo 200 
Remainder 1 000 
TOTAL 27 350 

Note: This represents a decrease of some 46% since 1982. 



The following estimates were made by George Mubanga (Senior Wildlife Research 
Officer) based on information from staff in the areas concerned. 


North Luangwa 
South Luangwa 

Mweru Wantipa 
Lusenga Plain 

. Lavushi Manda 
10. Kasanka 

ll. Kafue 

12. Nyika 

13. Lochinvar 

14. West Lunga 
15. Liuwa Plain 
16. Sioma Ngwezi 
17. Mosi-Oa-Tunya 
18. Blue Lagoon 
19. Lower Zambezi 
20. Ncete Sanctuary 









W Lo 


















Aerial Surveys: 1973-17700, 1979-7360 
1973-31600, 1979-22800 
1973-9100, 1979-4500 
1973-850, 1979-420 

No surveys, based on patrol sightings. 

Informed guess. 

Hon. Ranger's info. Heavy Poaching. 
Heavy Poaching, probably lost cause. 
x : from Copperbelt. 

Air Survey 1977-3700, low poaching. 

Security problem, infiltrators poaching 
As for West Lunga. 
Based on field patrols. 

Low human densities, some poaching. 
Direct count in bird sanctuary. 

Area Elephant 
61 806 43 000 
NSE) 7/als) 14 000 
1 000 
221 519 58 000 



West Zambezi 
Kasonso Busanga 

Bilili Springs 

. Kafue Flats 


. West Petauke 


. Lupande 
. Lumimba 
. Musalangu 


. Kafinda 


. Luwingu 
. Tondwa 
. Kaputa 
. Mansa 



lo Ww WWW WwWWr NY WHY N Oo 


DwWwWrene Hk rwW 






Military poaching in area. 

Migrants from Kafue NP. 50 permanent. 
Occasional animals from W. Lunga. 
Military operations in area, 

As for 2. Kasonso Busanga 
Low poaching, large tuskers, 

Area heavily encroached by humans, 


Occasional animals from Kafue. 
(200-300) High poaching, near Lusaka, 
Based on density estimate of 0.3. 

Dense settlement, heavy poaching. 

As for 17 & 18. Threat to Luangwa NP. 
Based on density estimate of 0.5. 

Air survey 1973-12500, 1979-3350. 
Heavy poaching from the north. 

Air survey 1973-6700, 1979-3350. 
Elephant eliminated by development. 
Not preferred habitat, poaching. 

As for No. 25 Kafinda. 
Heavy settlement and poaching. 

Socially protected in Chief's area. 
Occasional Kafue migrants. 

Information from Dr. D.H.M. Cumming (Chief Ecologist) 
HwangelNaiti onal Parks ata casreloactever-nerorenetorsne Re aiaes Sie vednexoncuen LOMO, 
Zambezi Valley Complex.......cccccccccccccrccsees Sao alah OOo) 

Mana Pools National Park 
Charara Safari Area 
Urungwe Safari Area 

Sapi Safari Area 

Chewore Safari Area 
Dande Safari Area 

Doma Safari Area 

Sebungwe Region...........6. SOOO OODOORDUOODODOOO00 56 Eel 

Matusadona National Park.... 1 283 
Chizarira National Park..... 1 822 
Chete Safari Area........... 815 
Chirisa Safari Area....... oot dl aval 
Sijarira Forest Area) 
Kavira Forest Area ) 
Omay Communal Land )....... 3 600 
Binga Communal Land ) 
Gokwe Communal Land ) 

Gonna RewmZhoumNait onal Pia kerrercretercicieeuctencerersrieelersteNenens 3 937 
Majtets asi Compillex Waraertelaysicistetelcxare coeverene Bee aie valine eoae cooods WSs) 

Matetsi Safari Area 

Kazuma Pan National Park 
Zambezi National Park 
Victoria Falls National Park 
Deka Safari Area 

Remainder of country...... doooodOGC0000 o0.0:0 000 D00000 2 000 

Tuli Safari Area and SW Matabeleland 
Forest Areas in Matabeleland North 
SE Lowveld, excluding Gona Re Zhou 
Zambezi Valley Communal Lands 

NE Mashonaland 

TOTAL 46 977 + 3 000 

APPENDIX 11 Conf. 5.12 


Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 22 April to 3 May 1985 


Trade in Ivory from African Elephants 

WHEREAS illegal trade in ivory now imperils the future of some populations of 
African elephant and could imperil others if it continues at its present 
level, thus depriving producer countries of the wildlife and economic benefits 
provided by their elephant populations, within the policy laid down by 
producer countries for their management; 

WHEREAS Resolution Conf. 3.12, adopted at the third meeting of the Conference 
of the Parties (New Delhi, 1981), defines the terms 'raw' and 'worked' ivory 
and goes some way towards tightening the control of trade in ivory; 

WHEREAS Resolution Conf. 4.14, adopted at the fourth meeting of the Conference 
of the Parties (Gaborone, 1983), directed the Technical Committee to draw up 
guidelines for controlling the trade in worked ivory as quickly as possible, 
and in so doing to liaise closely with African Parties as well as other 
Parties having elephant populations; 

RECOGNIZING that a number of African states already operate successful 
Management programmes to conserve their elephant populations; 

RECOGNIZING that African and Asian ivory are indistinguishable and that as the 
Asian elephant is listed in Appendix I there is a need to ensure that the 
trade in African ivory does not further endanger the Asian elephant; 

WELCOMING the recommendations adopted by the 7th session of the Working Party 
on Wildlife Management and National Parks of the FAO African Forestry 
Commission in September 1983 and the Resolution on Trade in Raw African Ivory 
adopted by 24 African Parties to the Convention at the Seminar on CITES 

Implementation in Africa, held in Brussels, Belgium, in June 1984; 

NOTING that the effective co-ordination of ivory trade controls by the 
Secretariat of the Convention cannot be performed without the provision of 
adequate resources, including staff; 












that commencing by 1 December 1985, each state containing a population of 
African elephants and wishing to export raw ivory establish, as part of 
its management of the population, an annual export quota for raw ivory 
expressed as a maximum number of tusks; 

that export permits for raw ivory issued by producer Parties who have set 
quotas as recommended in a) above be regarded as consistent with the 
conservation of elephant populations and their habitats in the country of 
origin, as discussed at the combined meeting of the African Elephant and 
Rhino Specialist Groups of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN held 
in Hwange (Wankie), Zimbabwe, in August 1981; 

that each quota be communicated ‘to the CITES Secretariat in writing by 1 
December for the next calendar year; 

that the CITES Secretariat assist in the implementation of the quota 
system by maintaining a central database, circulating a list of current 
quotas not later than 1 January of each year, preparing and distributing 
for the guidance of the Parties (and non-Parties) a practical manual 
describing the most effective procedures for implementing this 
Resolution, and providing advice on the conservation status of African 
elephant populations}; 

that if the quota is not submitted by the deadline, the state in question 
have a zero quota until such time as it communicates its quota in writing 
to the Secretariat and the Secretariat in turn notifies the Parties; 

that there be no export, re-export or import of raw ivory as defined by 
Resolution Conf. 3.12 unless it is marked in accordance with that 
Resolution or in accordance with the Secretariat manual referred to in 
recommendation d) above; 

that Parties accept raw ivory from producer states only where the date on 
the export permit is for a year in which the producer state has a quota 
in accordance with this Resolution; 

that Parties may accept raw ivory from producer non-Party states only 
where the non-Party state files an annual report with the CITES 
Secretariat on its ivory trade, and meets all the other conditions in 
this Resolution, Resolution Conf. 3.12 and Article X of the Convention 
(as interpreted by Resolutions adopted by the Conference of the Parties); 

that in compiling their annual reports, producer Party and producer 
non-Party states that have exported raw ivory relate such exports to 
their quota for any given year, providing the Secretariat with as much 
relevant data possible, including, as a minimum, the number of whole or 
substantially whole tusks, and their individual weights and serial 






that, until such time as the Technical Committee produces guidelines for 
control of worked ivory in accordance with Resolution Conf. 4.14, all 
trade in worked ivory continue to be subject to the provisions of the 
Convention which do not require worked ivory exported or imported as 
personal or household effects to be included in annual reports; 

that all Party states seek to route raw ivory exports to countries of 
destination only through Party states or non-Party states which have 
adopted ivory trade measures in conformity with this Resolution; 

that all Parties take stock of raw ivory currently held in their states 
which may be destined for international trade, that they report the 
information to the Secretariat by 1 December 1986 for circulation to the 
Parties, and that they mark all such ivory in accordance with paragraph 
f£) above prior to export or re-export if not already so marked; 

that all Parties include in their annual reports complete data on 
imports, exports and re-exports of raw ivory including, as a minimum, the 
country of origin, the quota year that the export was authorized, the 
number of whole or substantially whole tusks, and their individual 
weights and serial numbers; 

that all trade in raw ivory be prohibited with or through any state that 
does not conform with the ivory quota and trade requirements of CITES as 
advised by the Secretariat and confirmed by the Standing Committee of the 
Conference of the Parties; and 

that Parties assist the Secretariat to ensure that the duties set out in 
this Resolution are carried out; and 

APPEALS to all governments, non-governmental conservation organizations and 
other appropriate agencies to provide funds for the resources required in the 
Secretariat and producer states to ensure that the recommendations in this 
Resolution can be effectively implemented. 

Doc. 5.22.1 (Rev.) 


Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties 

Buenos Aires (Argentina), 22 April to 3 May 1985 

Interpretation and Implementation of the Convention 
Trade in Ivory from African Elephants 


This document has been prepared by the Secretariat. 


1.1 Proper control of the international trade in raw ivory is very 






important, both to CITES and to the countries involved. The 24 
African countries Party to CITES that attended the Seminar on the 
Implementation of CITES in Africa (Brussels, Belgium, June 1984) 
adopted a resolution on this subject. That resolution led directly to 
the draft resolution prepared by the Technical Committee and under 
consideration (in slightly revised form) as document Doc. 5.22 
Annex 1. Both these resolutions call for the simultaneous 
establishment of an "export quota" system and improved trade 
controls. It seems that there is general agreement on the principles 
and that only the details remain to be finalized. 

Acknowledging that it was the will of the African Parties (with the 
agreement also of TEC) to have such new procedures established, the 
Secretariat designed a project which was aimed at providing the 
necessary basis. The project was funded entirely by the Commission of 
the European Communities to whom the Secretariat wishes to express 
its sincere gratitude for providing the necessary financial support 
at such short notice. 

The project was conducted in Africa by Rowan B, Martin and in 
Cambridge, U.K., by WIMU. Rowan Martin's report is presented in 
document Inf. 5.3 and WIMU's report is document Inf. 5.4. Although 
these documents are available only in English at the moment, the 
Secretariat anticipates publishing both reports (together) in 
English, French and Spanish as soon as possible. 

The Secretariat wishes to express its gratitude to the Government of 
Zimbabwe for allowing Rowan Martin to undertake this project. It 
wishes also to thank the authors of both reports for their excellent 
work and for providing such comprehensive and incisive insights into 
the subject. 







The Secretariat believes that documents Inf. 5.3 and Inf. 5.4 are of 
great significance in this issue and provide the necessary basis for 
the establishment of new procedures for the control of the raw ivory 
trade. It feels strongly that the draft resolution in Annex 1 of 
document Doc. 5.22 should be considered in the light of these two 


It has been implicit throughout discussions of the subject that the 
Secretariat would be required to play a central role in the 
co-ordination of ivory trade controls. The African Seminar resolution 
and the draft resolution in document Doc. 5.22 both call for the 
Secretariat to adopt such a role. Therefore, the Secretariat drafted a 
provisional project outline proposing the establishment and operation 
of a special unit within the CITES Secretariat to co-ordinate the 
worldwide control of trade in raw ivory. 

The overall objective of the project is: 

To ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable utilization 
of the African elephant by bringing the world trade in raw ivory 
under proper CITES controls so that, as far as _ possible, 
legitimate trade is facilitated and illicit trade is eliminated. 

The sub-objectives of the project are: 

i) To establish and co-ordinate the operation of a globally accepted 
ivory trade control system based on export quotas. 

ii) To assist and advise governments in the implementation of ivory 
trade controls particularly in the annual establishment of export 
quotas, the authentication of documentation, enforcement and 
control mechanisms and monitoring of the trade and the status of 
elephant populations. 

iii) To assist and advise traders and trade associations in complying 
with the ivory trade control procedures. 

The project will involve employing one full-time professional and ene 
full-time clerk/typist. In addition, WIMU will be contracted to handle 
the necessary data-processing. The professional (“Ivory Controls 
Co-ordinator”) will be responsible for ensuring that the procedures 
established by the Conference of the Parties are effectively 
implemented and properly co-ordinated in accordance with the relevant 

At the time of writing of this document, the Secretariat had already 
received (from the Ivory Division of the Japanese General Merchandise 
Importers' Association via World Wildlife Fund - Japan) a firm 
commitment for 60% of the funds needed to fully establish the unit. It 
is hoped and anticipated that the balance will be available from other 


The need for such a unit cannot be over-emphasized and is amply 
demonstrated in documents Inf. 5.3 and Inf. 5.4. In particular, both 
those documents repeatedly confirm that a very large proportion of the 
international trade has been conducted without proper CITES controls 
either at the exporting end or at the importing end or at both ends. 



In addition to its primary function, the ivory unit could also be 
responsible for further investigating the idea of forming an “Ivory 
Producers Export Cartel" (IPEC) which has received support from 
several African Parties (see document Inf. 5.3). Furthermore, the 
Secretariat envisages that the ivory unit would also investigate 
methods of securing permanent sources of funding so that the unit 
itself becomes effectively self-financing within three years. 

In order for the proposed export quota system and new control 
procedures to come into effect on 1 January 1986, it is essential that 
the ivory unit becomes operational no later than September 1985. This 
will enable the professional officer to spend the first three months 
making the necessary administrative preparations, establishing 
effective lines of communication and ensuring that the quotas 
established by the Parties and procedures are prepared by 1 December 
1985. Therefore, the Secretariat proposes that recruitment procedures 
will be initiated immediately following this meeting of the Conference 
of the Parties. 



The Secretariat believes that it would be extremely valuable for the 
Parties involved in the raw ivory trade to have a short manual or 
“guidelines” on the operation of the quota system and on the 
enforcement of the associated control procedures. Therefore, it feels 
that such a manual should be prepared as soon as possible and at least 
before the end of 1985. It intends to proceed with this idea if the 
Parties agree and a suitable amendment to the draft resolution is 
provided below. Such “guidelines” would provide the Parties with 
practical descriptions of how the resolution might be most effectively 

However, there are certain aspects of the control procedures which 
need to be explicity agreed and which the Secretariat believes to be 
essential to the success of the whole proposal. These procedures are 
not designed and will not be used by the Secretariat to regulate the 
trade. They are specifically for two purposes: 

a) to ensure that importing countries do not accept shipments of 
ivory that have not been exported from the country of origin 
under proper CITES controls, i.e. exported against the wishes of 
the Management Authority of the exporting country; and 

b) to provide an accurate means of monitoring the trade and thus 
provide feedback of data into the export quota system, 

The procedures are the following: 

i) Every time that the Management Authority of an exporting country 
authorizes the export of a shipment of raw ivory it must notify 
the Secretariat of the weight, number of tusks, permit number and 
destination immediately. A copy of the permit and full details of 
each tusk number should also be mailed to the Secretariat at the 
time of issue or when the shipment is cleared for export. 

ii) Upon receipt of this information, the Secretariat will inform 
both countries involved. Upon clearing any shipment, the 
Management Authority of the importing country must notify the 

iii) If an importing country has not been informed by the Management 
Authority of the exporting country and/or the Secretariat that a 
shipment has been authorized for export it must not allow 
importation until the Secretariat has been consulted and has 
notified the Management Authority that the exporting country has 
permitted the shipment in accordance with the quota system. 

iv) Imports from a re-exporting country must be allowed only when 
full CITES documentation is available, including tusk numbers, 
and when adequate documentation is available to satisfy the 
Management Authority that the ivory was either exported under the 
quota system or was registered with a Management Authority prior 
to 31 December 1985. Although such trade need not be subject to 
the strict controls described in i), ii) and iii) above, any 
Management Authority should seek the advice of the Secretariat if 
there is the slightest doubt about a shipment. 

v) Any confiscated ivory which is not included in a quota, including 
any such ivory confiscated in a country not having a quota, 
should not be allowed for export or re-export until the 
Secretariat has been notified. Any such notification should 
include full details of the shipment. Thereafter, its export or 
initial re-export should be subject to the same procedures as 
described in i), ii) and iii) above. 

3.3 These procedures are designed to ensure that the ivory unit of the 
Secretariat has complete details of all whole tusks, or substantially 
whole tusks, when they first enter international trade. Without such 
information, the Secretariat would be unable to properly monitor 
controls and the quota system would not be effective. 

3.4 The large volume of data (initially involving at least 50,000 tusks 
per year) will be processed by WIMU on a computer and will then be 
available for use in adjusting quotas, revising management programmes, 
etce., etc. 

3.5 With respect to the marking of tusks, several problems have been 
raised and discussed in document Inf. 5.3. The Secretariat strongly 
believes that this matter requires a practical solution, which may 
differ according to ational requirements and/or constraints. 
Therefore, the Secretariat recommends some flexibility in this and 
feels that the best solution would be for the ivory unit to 
co-ordinate information on how countries are marking tusks or will be 
able to mark tusks and that, providing any marking system complies 
with the principle of Resolution Conf. 3.12 it should be accepted. 
This is one area where the above-mentioned “guidelines” would be of 
considerable use. Therefore, appropriate amendments to the draft 
resolution are provided below. 


4.1 The Secretariat recommends the following amendments to the draft 
resolution in Annex 1 to document Doc. 5.22: 

i) add to recommendation d) after "l January of each year,” 
preparing and distributing for the guidance of the Parties (and 
non-Parties) a practical manual describing the most effective 
procedures for implementing this Resolution, 

ii) in recommendation f), replace “or recommendation 1) below” with: 
or in accordance with the Secretariat manual referred to in 

recommendation d) above. 


5.1 The Secretariat believes that the reports contained in documents 



Inf. 5.3 and Inf. 5.4 form an excellent basis on which to establish 
proper control of the international trade in raw ivory in conjunction 
with the draft resolution (with some revision of detail) in Annex 1 of 
document Doc. 5.22. 

Therefore, the Secretariat seeks the approval of the Conference of the 
Parties for the establishment of the ivory unit, referred to above, on 
the basis described in this document. The Secretariat also requests 
that the Conference of the Parties approves the contents of this 
document as a working basis, for the implementation of the CITES 
controls of the raw ivory trade. 



Forms Ql and Q2 have been used to set a hypothetical quota for Zimbabwe in 
1985. The following notes apply. 



Zimbabwe does not in fact have a 1 kg limit on weight of tusks for export. 
This has been included simply for demonstration purposes. 

The very large numbers destined to be culled (Box C) are part of a 
programme to reduce Zimbabwe's total number of elephants to 33 000 over the 
next few years. 

. The category CROPPING covers animals which will be used to ration labour 

gangs and provide staff training. 

The SPORT HUNTING quotas may appear slightly high for the populations in 
the areas they originate (they form less than 1% for the country as a 
whole). These quotas include, in addition to trophy bulls, a certain number 
of non-trophy bulls (tusks less than 10 kg each), and trophy cows. 

The percentage offtake from the population appears high because of the 
culling total. Removing the amount culled, the offtake is 2.8% of 40 000 
animals, which is well within the capability of the population to sustain, 

. The various factors used on the lower part of Form Ql are very much 

experimental at this stage: we will be able to assess them better at the 
end of 1985. 


eountRY ...< C7 S7S WA =... veaR ‘28S sneet ./. of . 

Minimum export weight of tusk (if any) Kg. 




Sie ONAPU POH yieviie A fe7 S70 saa ase ae ee 
bh AWANGE N.P| 76 700 _| 

eae aap. °4 Leen Sea 
3B arers/ | #000 | 

2B ieee ea ene uate |e al 
BSveris eee eee 


ign ee ee ae ee 
G0 SARA hey 

13 he Mae! 




TOTALS |*% 7000|° 470 | 7000" 7oF Zax 200/' /58 

FINAL PAGE ONLY | % of populaticen dying in quote year (100 x H/A) 

Finding Foctor 0.5 | 

Foctor: no. tuske/anima] 

Fector: no. tusks > limit 90.67 


Totale from boxee X, Y,Z are carried forward to Form |4 


countRY ..<./47 BLP BWE_ 

rr 2 

Minimum export weight of tusk (if any) Kg. 


Corried forword from Form Q1 









d e f 
k 1 m 
n ° Pp 

r Ee 
t u 



SPORT HUNTING. Box U on Form Q1 

PERSONAL EFFECTS, Box p thie form 





The following is a possible structure for a cartel to export ivory for the 
ivory producing countries. The need for such an organisation arises from the 
extremely disparate prices being paid for ivory exported from the different 
countries in Africa. Many countries are not obtaining the full value of the 
resource for their governments. In the coming years, as ivory becomes scarcer, 
the cartel could greatly benefit producer countries by ensuring that the price 
of ivory stays high and that the commodity is marketed to best advantage. 

Africa needs to be seen to market its own product efficiently, police its own 
industry, and service its own industry technically. At present’ the 
international conservation community has taken it upon itself to assume a 
large part of the responsibility for conserving African elephant. The need for 
this would decrease if African countries were able to demonstrate effectively 
that elephant were under sound management and conservation of the species was 

Dr. G.F.T. Child (Director, Department of National Parks and Wildlife 
Management, Zimbabwe) has already had preliminary discussions on the subject 
of co-ordination of the marketing of wildlife products amongst producer 
countries in Africa, and has considered a larger organisation than that 
discussed in this Appendix. This is not intended to conflict with any other 
moves being made at present to improve the marketing of wildlife products, but 
should be regarded as one possible option which pertains strictly to raw ivory 

The cartel should be a small agency employed by the ivory producing 
countries, It should not be an organisation comprised of civil servants 
seconded by the participating countries, and as far as possible it should be 
free of the bureaucratic procedures and political involvements which hamper 
attempts by African countries to embark upon joint ventures. 

The first requirement for the establishment of IPEC is the formation of a 
board on which producer countries would be represented. The board itself is 
not IPEC: it is simply the “employers' organisation" controlling the cartel. 


This would consist of no more than two representatives from the government of 
each participating country: the highest presiding wildlife officer, and a 
representative of the Treasury or appropriate Ministry controlling finance 

(wildlife officers are notoriously poor in their grasp of financial and 
economic issues). 

The board would have the following functions: 
a) To propose and vote on policies which IPEC should follow. 

b) To recruit and dismiss the staff of IPEC. 
The constitution of the Board would have to address the following: 

a) Frequency of meetings. These need not be often, perhaps once a year at 
same venue as CITES meetings. 

b) The voting system. A dual system would probably be necessary: on 
financial matters votes would be in proportion to ivory exports; on 
matters such as recruiting each country could exercise an equal vote. 

c) Rules respecting the sovereignty of nations. 
d) Rules for the chairmanship. 

e) Conditions of entry to the cartel and conditions for dropping out of 
the cartel. Most cartels work on the principle that it costs little to 
join but is extremely expensive to leave. 

The cartel staff 

A small agency is envisaged which has no more than about 10 members of staff 
with the specific functions described below. Very high salaries would be 
offered to ensure that the cartel has the best available staff. 

a) Director 

- whose role is to carry out the policy of the Board, represent the 
cartel at Board meetings and present an annual report, to administer 
the staff of the cartel, and generate internal policy for IPEC. 

b) Marketing (2 persons) 

= the sole function of the marketing staff is to sell ivory to best 
advantage. They have no conservation role, and accept all ivory for 
sale regardless of any feeling they may have about its origins. 

c) Investigations (2 persons) 

- these should be experienced detectives who would collect information on 
irregularities in the ivory trade. They would have no powers of arrest 
but would pass their information to the police forces in the countries 

d) Technical (2 persons) 

= these would be ecologists who would address the long term husbandry of 
elephant. Their main functions wouid be the inventory of elephant 
(population census), advising on management programmes for elephant 
where required, and modelling the effects of management strategies on 
populations. Their work would be strictly applied, as opposed to 
academic. While the marketing and investigations staff would be more 
concerned with short term issues, the technical staff would be expected 
to look at the long term future of elephant. 

The cartel would also require an accountant, a secretary, and an office hand. 
Services of specialists, such as field management experts, air survey teams, 
or economic consultants would be hired as and when required. 

Recruitment of staff 
The 7 senior members of staff could be recruited as follows: 

a) A detailed description of the posts would be advertised throughout the 

b) Applicants would submit curriculum vitae stating their experience, and 
would state their salary and fringe benefit requirements. 

c) At a full Board meeting each of the member countries would rank the 
applicants for the posts in an order of priority, and those preferred 
by the most countries would be the successful applicants. 

d) Interviews would be conducted of a short list of final selections. 
Location of Headquarters for IPEC 

This would be best decided by an independent consultant, who would take into 
account such factors as cost of living, travel logistics, foreign exchange 
restrictions, communication facilities and working environment. 

Funding of IPEC 

IPEC could be funded by a 1% levy on the total amount of sales it makes. If 
the world export trade in ivory is of the order of 50 -100 million US dollars, 
such a levy would provide more than enough funding. The cartel could run a 
revolving fund where the balance of the 1% levy is invested for the producer 
countries to provide dividends or be used for conservation purposes. 

Methods of selling ivory 

The marketing staff would export all ivory from member countries. It would be 
impractical to move ivory to a central point, and so the cartel staff would 
travel to countries to do inventories of stocks of ivory, and would rely on 
good communication facilities to keep records updated. 

Sales to consumer countries would generally be by negotiation of the highest 
price possible. Cartels work on the basis that while stocks are withheld from 
the market prices rise, but no money is made. When the commodity is sold, 
profits are realised but if selling continues for too long prices fall. The 
optimum is to achieve a rate of feed to the market which keeps the prices high 
and generates steady revenue. 

The cartel might also consider inviting international buyers to attend 
auctions in Africa. The auctions could be rotated among the producer countries. 

All countries would be advised of the daily price of ivory much as the 
exchange rates for foreign currencies are advised at present. Internal sales 
of ivory to domestic carving industries could be based on this price with 
discounts at the discretion of the governments of the participating countries. 

Ivory would only move on a CITES permit issued by IPEC. No other permits would 
be valid. Such movements would occur only when a sale had been concluded with 
an importing country. 

The role of private dealers requires examination. Either all private dealing 
in ivory would be banned by governments, or dealers would operate under 
severely reduced latitude. If the cartel is successful in raising world prices 
of ivory dealers could gain from the situation. The role of dealers would 
become much as that of diamond merchants in the world today: the initial sale 
would be from the cartel, but thereafter the dealers would take over the 
intermediate market before ivory is finally carved. 

Implications for the illegal trade 

Penalties for possession, as with diamonds, would be very high. The illegal 
export of ivory should become far more difficult if sufficient countries join 
the cartel, and if consumer countries purchase only from the cartel. 

However, the cartel would be vulnerable insofar as its attempts to keep the 
price of ivory high will obviously be to the advantage of any illegal 
operators selling at a slightly lower price. The greatest factor in favour of 
the cartel is that if the demand for ivory remains as high as it is at the 
Moment, the cartel will still find itself able to sell all its ivory at a high 
price, notwithstanding an illegal market which has to sell at a lower price. 
If the cartel is successful it will lead governments to take more severe steps 
to curtail the illegal trade. 

Relation to the quota system 
The technical staff of IPEC would assist countries in setting quotas and 

managing their elephant populations within stated quotas. Ultimately the quota 
system should give stability to the ivory market. 


This proposal seeks to address two problems which confront several countries 
in Africa. 

a) Governments need to establish control over the de facto hunting at a 
district level within their countries. At present there are no wildlife. 
utilisation policies, yet a very large amount of illegal hunting is 
taking place. Hunting bans are unsuccessful. 

b) The value of the product being hunted is too low at the district and 
national levels. The hunter sells his ivory at less than US $10/kg to 
the district dealer, who sells it for less than US $20/kg to the urban 
dealer, who exports it for no more than US $30/kg. This ivory is worth 
US $75 when it reaches Hong Kong. The need is to elevate the price at 
source. The hunter should be receiving half of the final price and the 
middle men should be taking smaller profits. 

This is not the first time a proposal of this sort has been presented. Parker 
(1983, page 20) describes how he and several other wardens of the Kenya Game 
Department petitioned the Government to attempt a scheme for the Wata hunters 
in Kenya thirty years ago. The colonial Government frustrated their attempts. 
Richard Bell (pers. comm. and 1985c) has advocated the principle in 
correspondence with Richard Barnes and in print. The proposal presented here 
contains ideas that originated from discussions’ with the Zaire wildlife 

1. Any agency attempting to implement the scheme should get clearance at a 
high level within its government. When the wildlife authorities try to 
enforce the provisions of the proposal they must be assured of the full 
backing of government - even to the extent of confrontations with senior 

2. The wildlife agency will set a quota of animals which can be hunted without 
detriment to the elephant population in a particular area. The area should 
be no larger than can be conveniently hunted by a single hunter or group of 
hunters, and the quota should not exceed about 0.5% of the elephant 
population in that area. Several such areas might be designated. 

3. An active poacher, who must be a resident of the area, should be identified 
and approached with the proposal. The best time to do this is when he has 
been captured and is in jail. 

4, He will be given the proposition of having the monopoly on a legal quota of 
male elephant in the defined area subject to certain conditions. The 
conditions follow. 

5. The quota will not be given free of charge. It will do nothing to improve 
the value of the product at source, and there would be a certain amount of 
social injustice in suddenly making him resource-rich in the midst of an 
impoverished community. Safari operators would attack government claiming 
that they could make more foreign exchange from the quota than the local 
hunter. Government should also perhaps have a share in the resource. THE 
GOVERNMENT. This will be the tusk that touches the ground first. 

6. He will be responsible for dealing with all crop-raiding elephant before he 
shoots animals further afield. If government receives complaints from the 
villagers about crop-raiding his permit will be in jeopardy. 

7. He will protect his hunting area from all other illegal hunters. Where the 
government agency is in a position to enforce the law, he will report all 
illegal deaths and rely mainly on the authorities to deal with the problem, 
particularly in the case of large gangs armed with military weapons. Where 
the law enforcement agency is unable to respond he will be permitted to 
take matters into his own hands. He must report all illegally killed 
elephant in his area, and any carcases found which have not been reported 
will deducted from his quota. 

8. If there are safari hunters operating in his area, he will shoot only those 
males which have tusks in the range 10 - 20 kg. This is to avoid conflict 
with the sport hunting industry who require the larger tusks. 

9. He will present both tusks to the authorities as soon as possible after the 
elephant has been killed. Both tusks will be registered and stamped with 
the correct district code, and he will be given an ownership certificate 
for one tusk, 

This is an elegant solution so far. It fits in with the traditional hunting 
rules, where the chief always received one tusk from the hunters in his 
community, who were regarded as a select guild. It provides a legitimate 
supply of ivory to the private citizen, and ensures a supply of government 
ivory. It solves the crop raiding problem, and is using a territorial and 
economic imperative to keep illegal hunters out. If the hunter decides to 
exceed his quota he is a marked man - government knows exactly where to begin 

It doesn't, however, solve the problem of raising the value of the product at 
source. When the hunter walks out of the district office with his one legal 
tusk clutched in his hand he is going to sell it to the good old nearby dealer 
at the rockbottom price he has always received. And here is where government 
plays its second masterstroke. 

which is slightly higher than the local dealer's price. For government 
this is sound business: it cannot lose as long as the international price 
is well above the price the hunter is used to receiving. However, it is 
not really the objective of government to purchase all the hunter's tusks: 
government simply wishes to force the local dealer to pay more. 

11. Government is keen to see the local carving industry prosper, and wants to 
establish a legitimate supply of tusks for the industry. If it doesn't the 
tusks will be obtained illegally. It may have to buy a number of tusks 
from the local hunter in the course of forcing the market value upwards, 
but this is not important. Once raw ivory is worth US $50/kg government 
can sit back and be pleased with itself. A number of dealers and carvers 
may be put out of business but this is inevitable. The resource cannot 
stand the present harvesting levels, and some form of selection process 
has to winnow out the less successful. 





Once these initial steps have been put into effect a whole new vista opens 
up. The dealers, carvers and ivory sellers can be registered over a period 
of time. Government has a foot in the door of the illegal trade, and 
through the hunter has access to all parts of the industry. It is far 
easier to ask the legal hunter “to whom did you sell your tusk?" than it 
is to say to the man in the street selling worked ivory “where did you get 
your tusk?" The illegal operators can be put out of business fairly easily. 

The full value of the elephant carcases can now be realised. The skin can 
be recovered and the meat marketed within the community. There is no need 
for carcases to rot in the bush, 

It may appear that the hunter is getting the chief benefits from the 
scheme. This is not necessarily so, He will distribute his largesse within 
his community. He may be forced to pay other people in the village to help 
him deal with poachers in his territory. The legality of the operation 
will lead to all sorts of secondary industries in the community. The 
increased value of ivory in the district means that far fewer elephant 
need to be killed for the same income that they were providing before the 

Ultimately the hunter will join with government in the management of the 
resource. The wildlife authorities will listen to his assessment of 
numbers of elephant in the district and adjust quotas accordingly. If the 
scheme is successful with elephant it can be extended to other species. By 
sharing its monopoly on the wildlife resource, government may engender a 
responsible husbandry of elephant which it has not been able to do so far. 


A Report Prepared for the CITES Secretariat 

J.R. Caldwell and J.G. Barzdo 

Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit 
IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 
219c Huntingdon Road 

15 March 1965 



Section 1 - Exporters 

Burkina Faso 


Ivory Coast 

Sierra Leone 


Central African Republic 


Equatorial Guinea 

Section 2 - Importers 

Japan and Hong Kong 


People's Republic of 


Federal Republic of 















South Africa 





United Kingdom 
United States of 


Page no. 

wo Oo O © Oo N N 






This report was produced by the staff of the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit 
of IUCN's Conservation Monitoring Centre, under contract to the CITES 
Secretariat. It is one of two reports produced at the Secretariat's request 
to provide background information for a proposal to establish better 
controls on the international ivory trade. Integral to these controls is 
the establishment of quotas for export of raw ivory from each African 
country with an exploitable population of African elephants (Loxodonta 
africana). The other report to the Secretariat considers the biological 
status of the elephant and explores possible quotas based on the status 
information. The present report complements the other by examining the 
scale and pattern of the world trade in raw African ivory, and presenting 
data on the average weight of tusks in trade. 

Our primary aim was to provide the most up to date information on the 
extent of raw ivory exports from each African country; the analysis, 
carried out by J. Caldwell, appears in Section 1 of the Results. For some 
African countries there were no export data or so few that it was necessary 
to estimate exports on the basis of data from importing countries. These 
have also provided a valuable check even when export statistics were 
available. Our analysis of the data of importing countries appears in 
Section 2 of the Results, that for Hong Kong and Japan being carried out by 
J. Caldwell and the remainder by J. Barzdo. The discussion, which contains 
a new analysis of average tusk weight, was written by both authors, who are 
grateful to T.P. Inskipp and A.M. Dixon for their assistance in the 
production of the report, and to the CITES Secretariat, R.B. Martin, 
G. Hemley and D. Fuller (TRAFFIC USA), Tom Milliken (TRAFFIC Japan), 
J-P. d'Huart (TRAFFIC Belgium), and T. Friedlein for their assistance in 
gathering data. 


In December 1984, the CITES Secretariat requested the Management 
Authorities of African Parties and a number of important ivory importing 
countries to provide information on the exports/ re-exports and imports of 
raw ivory for the years 1983 and 1984, Mr Rowan Martin, during his study 
mission in Africa, collected much information on trade and passed it on to 
us. At the beginning of February 1985 WIMU wrote to the CITES Management 

Authorities of all those countries from whom we had not received a 

As a result of all this we received some data from the following 
countries, to whom we are indebted: Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, 
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, 
Hong Kong, Japan, Liberia, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, 
South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, UK, Zaire, Zambia and 
Zimbabwe. The data from Hong Kong are worthy of particular mention because 
they are of outstanding quality and are complete, for both years, with 
tusk weight, number of tusks and export permit numbers. The data received 
from each country are referred to in the relevant section of the Results. 

We have also examined published Customs statistics of a large number of 
countries, but unfortunately very few countries include a category for 
elephant ivory or tusks alone. Those which were useful were from Japan, 
Kenya, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, and USA. 

In addition we have undertaken discussions with ivory traders in Europe 
and have found their help and their trade statistics to be extremely 

In general our methods have been the same as those employed in our 
previous report to CITES on the ivory trade (Doc.TEC.1.4) (Caldwell, 1984; 
Barzdo, 1984) which should be consulted. We have made much use of CITES 
annual report statistics for 1983, particularly in consideration of the 
importing countries. However, the differing quality of the available 
reports and the complex mature of the trade have precluded a uniform 
approach in dealing with each country. However we believe that the 
presentation of the data makes the methods more or less clear in each 
case. In relating tusk numbers to numbers of elephants we have again used 
the correction factor of 1.88 tusks per elephant, from Parker and Martin 
(1982) unless otherwise stated. 


Section 1 



The CITES Management Authority of Benin informed the CITES Secretariat 
that the country's legislation regarding CITES was not yet functioning to 
the point where it was possible to provide statistics concerning ivory 
trade. Moreover, there is no record of trade emanating from this country. 

Information from the Directeur des Parcs Nationaux des Reserves de Faune 

et des Chasses states that there is no commercial ivory trade in Burkina. 
Tnere is a very small trade in carved ivory in local markets. 


The Department of Game and Wildlife reports that nine carvings were 
exported in 1983, of these only two represented substantially whole tusks. 
In 1984 the figures were seven substantially whole tusks and 12 carvings. 


There is no indication that any raw ivory originating in Guinea is in 
international trade. 


No raw ivory from the Ivory Coast is reported in international trade, 
indeed that country imports tusks in order to support its local ivory 
carving industry. It is however possible that some of the trophies 
exported from Senegal originated in the Ivory Coast. Information has been 
received by WTMU however, that suggests that the Ivory Coast may have 
re-exported some raw tusks to Europe during 1984 (Friedlein, pers comm). 


The CITES Management Authority of Liberia has informed the CITES 
Secretariat that there has been no ivory trade there for the past two 
years. It has also been reported, but not confirmed, that Liberia banned 
export of ivory or any parts or derivatives of forest elephants in May 


No information concerning the ivory trade was received from Mali but since 
all hunting has been banned there since 1978 there should be no exports of 
raw ivory. Information has been received by the CITES Secretariat however 
that a trader in Hong Kong applied to import ivory from Mali in 1984, 

There is no indication that any ivory from Mauritania is traded 

commercially. Martin (1985) believes that country's elephant population to 
be extinct. 


No raw ivory from Niger is reported in international trade. 


No raw ivory from Nigeria is reported in international trade. 


The CITES Management Authority of Senegal reports a total export of 11 
tusks to France during 1983 and 1984. It is unclear whether these were of 
Senegal origin and some at least may have come from Cameroon and the Ivory 

There is no evidence that any raw ivory from Sierra Leone is currently in 
international trade. The UK Customs seized a tusk reported to be of Sierra 
Leone origin that was being imported from France in 1983. 
The CITES Management Authority of Togo reports eight tusks exported to 

Canada, F.R.Germany and France in 1983 and 12 tusks exported to 
Switzerland and France in 1984, 



The Direction de la Faune et des Parcs Nationaux has indicated that 
exports in 1983 amounted to 33 tusks, and in 1984 to 34 tusks. These 
trophies went mainly to destinations in Europe and North America. 

Dr Martin reports that there are about 400 tusks in the Yaounde ivory 
store awaiting sale, and possibly another 200 tusks in the provinces. 


According to figures received from the CAR Management Authority and from 
Froment (1984), exports of raw ivory decreased from 201 712 kg in 1982 to 
101 410 kg in 1983, and then again to 42 336 kg in 1984. The number of 
tusks was not recorded in 1982 but mean tusk weights were calculated to be 
11.7 kg and 14.6 kg in 1983 and 1984 respectively. At the CITES Training 
Seminar for African Parties, held in Brussels in June 1984, 

representatives from CAR stated that an attempt was being made to reduce 
the level of ivory exports. 

The large volume of ivory exported in 1982 did not all reach markets in 
the Far East during that year, Hong Kong and Japan only reporting imports 
of 110 t, some of which may have been originally exported in 1981. It is 
reasonable to assume, therefore that at least 100 t, and possibly more was 
either in store in Europe, or in transit, at the end of 1982. This 
"reservoir' of ivory from CAR has had a knock-on effect on the annual 
Statistics reported by Hong Kong and Japan particularly, and has distorted 
the overall picture of annual ivory exports from Africa. For example, 
Japanese Customs statistics for 1984 record imports of over 100 t of ivory 
of CAR origin despite CAR's reported exports of only 42 t in that year. A 
closer inspection of the available CITES data from Hong Kong, Japan and 
Belgium suggests that a large proportion of this ivory (in excess of 60 t) 
was re-exported by Belgium to the Far East in late 1983. 

Belgium was reported by CAR to be the destination of the majority of the 
exports in 1983 and 1984, and it is likely that this was the case in 1982 
also. The data for 1984 compare well with those for imports from CAR 
provided by Belgium - CAR reported exporting 2102 tusks weighing a total 
of 32 187 kg and Belgium reported importing 2316 tusks weighing 36 660 kg, 
the difference between the totals almost certainly being the result of 
end-of-year exports not being reported as imports until the following 
year. For example, of the 22 shipments arriving in Belgium from CAR in 
1984, at least five left CAR in 1983, and at least one of CAR's 17 
shipments to Belgium in 1984 would not have arrived until early 1985, 

CAR exported 1122 tusks weighing 11 981 kg directly to Hong Kong, 102 
tusks weighing 1648 kg to Italy and a small quantity, 12 tusks weighing 
200 kg, to Japan in 1983. In 1984 the trade pattern changed slightly, no 
exports going directly to Hong Kong and small quantities, 29 and 15 tusks 
Tespectively going to Portugal and Gabon. However, 566 tusks weighing 
7320 kg were exported directly to Japan and another 176 tusks weighing 
2060 kg were exported to Singapore, probably in transit to Japan. This may 
suggest that ivory traders were beginning to use Singapore as a transit 
point, perhaps as a result of Belgium implementing CITES, and the airline 
Sabena refusing to carry ivory. 

CAR also exports ivory confiscated from poachers, and this may be recorded 
as being of CAR origin by the importer. However, at least two of the 
shipments reported by CAR as direct exports in 1984 were in fact 
re-exports of ivory originating in Zaire, and were reported as such by 


Large amounts of ivory left Chad illegally in 1983, according to official 
sources in that country (R. Martin, in litt.). However, official 
government statistics indicate that legitimate exports in 1983 were 1723 
tusks weighing 10 564 kg. Hong Kong reported importing 11 shipments of 
tusks amounting to 25 335 kg directly from Chad in 1983, and another 
5641 kg from Japan, which had imported them that year from Chad via 
Belgium. Total exports from Chad in 1983 would therefore appear to have 
been at least 31 t, although a proportion of this may have left Chad in 
1982, Japanese Customs data record a little over 22 t of ivory of Chad 
origin being imported in 1983 but over 15 t of this was via Hong Kong. 

A total of 498 tusks weighing 3694 kg were officially exported from Chad 
in 1984. However, information provided by the ivory trade indicates that 
one trader alone imported 1263 tusks, weighing 4564 kg, in 1984. Hong Kong 
reported importing one shipment of 447 tusks (1533 kg) directly from Chad 
in January 1984, two shipments via Belgium containing 581 tusks (2544 kg) 
in September 1984, and four shipments via Japan containing 684 tusks 
(2183 kg). It is possible however that the imports from Japan may have 
contained ivory shipped from Hong Kong to Japan in 1983. 

Japanese Customs statistics for 1984 record a total import of 3156 kg of 
ivory of Chad origin, however inspection of-Japanese and Hong Kong CITES 
statistics reveal that only 410 kg of this came directly from Chad, the 
remainder being re-exports from Hong Kong. 

The total amount of ivory reaching markets in the Far East that was 
exported from Chad in 1984 appears to have been at least 4.5 t, but 
considerably less than the previous year. It is likely that the mean tusk 
weight was 4 kg or less. 


Information from Congo indicates that 12 701 kg of raw ivory was exported 
in 1983, the destination being France. However, 11 of the 12 shipments 
reported as exports were reported by Japan as coming directly from Congo 
so it would appear that they only went through France in transit. The 
total comprised 902 tusks averaging 14.08 kg each, and suggests that 480 
elephants were involved. 

Imports of ivory directly from Congo reported by Japan in 1983 compare 
well with Congo's reported exports. Japan's figure for these imports being 
14 412 kg, the difference from the figure reported by Congo being caused 
by end-of-year shipments. In addition to these however, Japan reported 
importing another 16 070 kg of “Congo” ivory via Belgium and 2797 kg via 
Hong Kong. Thus of the 33280 kg of ivory reported to be of Congo origin, 
only 43% can be attributable to legitimate exports from the country of 
origin during 1983. Unfortunately it is not possible to estimate how much 
of this ivory was exported in 1982 and how much represents illegal trade 
not recorded by the Congo CITES Management Authority. 

In 1984 Congo reported exporting 20 457 kg of raw ivory, 1275 tusks with 
an average weight of 16 kg, and again France was reported to be the main 
destination. One shipment of 1586 kg, 108 tusks averaging 14.7 kg, was 
reported as going to the Ivory Coast. 

In the first six months of 1984 Japan reported four shipments directly 
from Congo, but only three had a Congo export permit number. It is likely 
that the fourth shipment was incorrectly ascribed to Congo and was more 
probably ivory of Zaire origin re-exported by Burundi. All _ three 
‘legitimate’ shipments were also reported as exports by Congo but there 
were some interesting discrepancies between the details reported on export 
and those reported on import. Congo permit no. 16/84 was apparently issued 
for 189 tusks weighing 3012 kg, but an import of 191 tusks weighing 
3189 kg was reported by Japan. Permit no. 30/84 was issued for 259 tusks 
weighing 4116 kg, and although an identical weight was recorded on import, 
the tusk number had increased to 272. Permit no. 32/84 was issued for 
98 tusks weighing 2035 kg but according to Japanese data the shipment 
consisted of 312 tusks weighing 2095 kg. The same shipping agents were 
involved in each case. During 1984 France seized one shipment of ivory 
from Congo destined for Japan because the number of tusks in the shipment 
far exceeded the number specified on the permit. The original permit was 
issued for 203 tusks weighing 3640 kg but the shipment was actually 
composed of 713 tusks weighing 3863 kg. 

These differences make it very difficult to provide accurate estimates of 
the number of elephants involved in supplying the ivory trade. If the 
information from the Congo CITES Management Authority is used, a total of 
678 elephants with a mean tusk weight of 16 kg is obtained. However, the 
effect of compensating for the four shipments mentioned above is to 
increase the number of elephants involved to 1071 and to decrease the 
average tusk size to 10.4 kg. It is likely that these corrected figures 
still overestimate tusk size and underestimate elephant numbers. 

Congo also reported exporting tusks which were almost certainly private 
hunting trophies. These amounted to 34 tusks in 1983 and 22 in 1984, 
average tusk weight being 10.4 kg. 

No raw ivory from Equatorial Guinea has been reported in international 



The Directeur de la Faune et de la Chasse reports that 19 tusks were 
exported as trophies in 1983 and 56 in 1984. The destinations were mainly 
Europe with a few going to the USA. 


Zaire has the largest population of elephants in Africa but has a ban on 
export of raw ivory - CITES Notification No. 148 of 27 August 1980 
informed CITES Parties of this and asked that permits from Zaire that were 
presented to importing Parties should be sent to the CITES Secretariat for 
verification. It is likely, therefore, that ivory traders importing tusks 
originating in Zaire will attempt to conceal the true origin of their raw 
ivory imports and to route shipments through non-Party states or through 
Party states that are prepared to issue re-export certificates. This 
process makes estimation of ivory production by Zaire very difficult and 
any such estimate should be treated with caution. 

It is known that there is a high degree of poaching of elephants in Zaire 
(Martin, 1985) and that the ivory is moved to neighbouring countries for 
re-export. Burundi, Uganda, Sudan, CAR and Congo are all convenient 
outlets and all may have been responsible for re-exporting ivory 
originating in Zaire in recent years. Exports reported by Zaire in 1983 
and 1984 amount to 28 trophy tusks going to Europe and North America, and 
one shipment of 728 tusks weighing 2077 kg that was exported illegally. 

If we assume that the official exports reported by Sudan for 1983 
represent only Sudanese ivory then there is in the region of another 180 t 
re-exported from Sudan whose origin is unknown (see section on Sudan). To 
simplify matters therefore, we have assumed that the origin of this ivory 
was Zaire. Although it is almost certain that some proportion of this was 
taken illegally in CAR and other countries, it is also known that exports 
from Congo and CAR include re-exports of ivory from Zaire. 

In addition to this 180 t, Japanese Customs statistics record imports of 
10 t from Burundi that is likely to have originated in Zaire, and a 
further import of 101 422 kg of ivory from Zaire. This latter figure is 
20 t more than was reported by the CITES Management Authority, MITI, who 
report 80 t of ivory from Zaire imported from Belgium, The total exports 
from Zaire in 1983 are likely, therefore, to have been at least 270 t and 
may have been over 290 t, particularly if the 11 t reported by Japan as 
coming from Uganda actually originated in Zaire. 

Japanese Customs statistics report the import of 49 827 kg of ivory from 
Zaire in 1984. In addition, imports of 33 118 kg are reported from Burundi 
and 99 320 kg from Uganda. As Uganda is unlikely to be the true origin of 
this latter quantity (see Uganda section) we have assumed, in order to 
simplify calculation, that all the ivory reported as coming from Uganda 
and Burundi in 1984 was originally from Zaire. Some of this ivory almost 
certainly originated in Tanzania and Zambia. Information from the USA 
suggests that 5 t of ivory were imported from Zaire. Hong Kong reports 
importing 450 tusks weighing 3 t from South Africa and 234 tusks weighing 
3468 kg from Belgium the origin of which was reported to be Zaire. Thus 
exports from Zaire in 1984 can be estimated to be between 190 and 200 t. 



Burundi has no wild elephant population and thus does not export raw 
ivory. However, the central position of the country within Africa means 
that it is well situated to re-export ivory from neighbouring countries 
such as Zaire that have large numbers of elephants. Until 1980 large 
amounts of ivory were re-exported from Burundi to the Far East, Hong Kong 
recording imports totalling over 85 t that year. However Hong Kong stopped 
importing from Burundi in 1981 and Japan only reported importing 2.5 t 
from Burundi that year, the bulk being re-exports from Hong Kong. 

At this time the ivory trade began to export ivory from Africa via Sudan 
and thus Burundi hardly figured in international ivory trade statistics 
for 1982. The Sudanese ban on export of raw ivory which came into force at 
the end of 1983 caused ivory traders to once again look to Burundi, and 
Burundi Customs statistics report that at least 50 t was re-exported to 
Belgium that year. During 1984 the total quantity re-exported may have 

been as much as 190 t and in all probability included the ivory reported 
by Japanese Customs to be from Zaire and Uganda. The trade route from 
Burundi appears to have been mainly via Belgium during 1983 but perhaps as 
a result of Belgium becoming party to CITES and introducing stricter 
control measures on the ivory trade, it appears that Singapore became the 

major transit point, with flights sometimes being routed via Luxembourg, 
Portugal or Oman. 

In an attempt to prevent illegally obtained ivory leaving Burundi the 
CITES Secretariat issued Notification to the Parties No. 303 in July 1984 
appealing to the Parties not to accept raw ivory from Singapore. 


The latest Customs statistics for Ethiopia relate to 1978. However, 
information from Dr Martin indicates that there was no commercial export 
of raw ivory in either 1983 or 1984, Export of trophies from safari 
hunting amounted to 128 kg during that two year period. It is further 
reported (R. Martin, in litt.) that the total stocks held by the 
Government and dealers amounts to approximately 1850 kg. However, the 
CITES Secretariat has received information that the Hong Kong CITES 
Management Authority received two applications to import ivory from 
Ethiopia during 1984. These were for 1188 kg and 1720 kg. 


The most recent Customs statistics available for Kenya relate to 1982 and 
indicate an export of 7276 kg of elephant ivory to Hong Kong. The Hong 
Kong CITES report for 1982 records a similar quantity of tusks and scraps 
imported from Kenya, with data suggesting an average tusk weight of 
5.2 kg. The Japanese annual reports to CITES indicate that 2294 kg of 
ivory was imported from Kenya via Belgium in 1982 and a further 500 kg via 
Belgium in 1983. The only reported commercial trade in Kenyan ivory during 
1984 was 29 tusks reported by MITI to have been imported by Japan from 
China, however this transaction did not appear in Japan's Customs 
statistics so is likely to refer to carved tusks. 


The CITES Management Authority of Rwanda reports that four raw tusks, one 
worked tusk and three carvings were exported in 1983 and three raw tusks, 
one worked tusk and more than seven carvings were exported in 1984. 


Statistics from Somalia indicate that there has only been one commercial 
export of ivory during the last two years. This was a shipment of 1170 
tusks reported to weigh 7500 kg, and was exported to Abu Dhabi in the 
United Arab Emirates in 1983. This shipment of Somali ivory with an 
average tusk weight of 6.4 kg was reported by Japan as being imported in 
June 1984. The only other ivory of Somali origin reported in trade appears 
to have been re-exports of that imported by Hong Kong in 1981 and 1982. 
R. Martin (in litt.) reports that there is apparently still about 40 t of 
ivory in store in Somalia awaiting sale. 


Statistics from Sudan's CITES Management Authority indicate that 17 248 
tusks weighing 150 100 kg were exported in 1983. The Management Authority 
has stated, however, that statistics on imports and re-exports of raw 
ivory were not recorded in either 1983 or 1984. 

Analysis of the data provided by Japan and Hong Kong suggests that the 
amount reported by Sudan as being exported represent less than 50% of the 
ivory entering world markets in that year that was claimed to be of 
Sudanese origin. Hong Kong reported importing 260 885 kg, apparently 
directly from Sudan, and Japan reported importing a further 25 744 kg via 
Belgium. Thus it appears that at least 286 629 kg may have left Sudan 
during the year, although it is possible that a proportion of this 
represents ivory originally exported in 1982. 

However, Japanese Customs data indicate that over 111 000 kg of ivory 
reported to be of Sudanese origin was imported - 20 000 kg more than 
indicated by the Japanese annual report to CITES. It is possible therefore 
that the amount of ivory leaving Sudan in 1983 was in excess of 
306 000 kg. If the officially recorded exports of Sudanese origin amounted 
to 150 100 kg it would seem reasonable to assume that the other 156 000 kg 
was from sources outside Sudan. 

The Sudan Government imposed a ban on export of raw ivory effective from 
30 December 1983, however some exceptions were allowed to enable traders 
to ship out stock sold for export prior to the ban coming into force. 
Official figures indicate that 4471 tusks weighing 23 000 kg were exported 
in 1984, 

Belgium reported re-exporting slightly over 12 000 kg of Sudanese ivory to 
Hong Kong and 11 000 kg to Japan in 1984. However, in the first three 
months of that year Japan reported importing from Belgium three shipments 
of Sudanese ivory totalling 7233 kg, and a further mixed shipment weighing 
7957 kg which allegedly originated in Sudan and Congo. None of these 
shipments was reported by Belgium so it would seem likely that they were 
re-exported from that country in late 1983. Further, Belgium reported 
importing only 1872 kg from Sudan in 1984, and was therefore a net 
re-exporter of 21 156 kg of '‘Sudanese' ivory. Thus it is likely that 
30 000 kg of the estimated 50 000 kg of ivory reaching markets in the Far 
East in 1984 were shipped from Sudan in 1983 and should therefore be 
included in that year's total. 

Hong Kong reported importing 3621 kg of Sudanese origin from F.R.Germany 
and 2139 kg from the Netherlands. Japan also reported imports of 6000 kg 
directly from Sudan and a further 8000 kg via Singapore. It is possible 
that this last shipment was one of the first to use the Singapore route 
after controls were tightened in Belgium and, if really of Sudan origin, 
it may have left Africa via Burundi. 


According to the Tanzanian 1982 annual report to CITES a total of 9436 kg 
of ivory was exported for commercial purposes. Hong Kong’ reported 
importing 5248 kg with a mean weight of 10 kg per tusk. Of the remainder, 
4119 kg was reported as going to UK and 117 kg to F.R.Germany. 


The following year only 781 kg was reported in the Tanzania annual report 
as being exported for commercial purposes:- 300 kg to UK, 442 kg to Hong 
Kong and 39 kg to Japan. Hong Kong reported importing 544 kg (39 tusks 
with a mean weight of 10.6 kg and six tusks with a mean weight of 21.7 kg) 
during that year, but reported importing another 2445 kg in 1984. The 
latter shipment left Tanzania in 1983 however, and information received 
from R. Martin (in litt.) suggests that the total commercial export in 
1983 was 4620 kg. 

No information has been received from Tanzania regarding exports during 
1984, but Japanese Customs statistics record a total of 19 932 kg imported 
that year. Much of this ivory left Tanzania illegally and was routed 
through Dubai and Singapore. One shipment of 960 tusks weighing 5307 kg 
was seen by an officer of the CITES Secretariat in Dubai in August 1984 

and the same weight is recorded in Japan's Customs statistics for that 

In addition, Belgium reports importing 1279 kg directly from Tanzania in 
1984 and the United Kingdom imported at least 5565 kg. Thus total legal 
and illegal exports from Tanzania in 1984 were at least 26 7/6 kg 
excluding private hunting trophies. The average weight of the tusks 
imported by Belgium and the United Kingdom in 1984 was 10.5 kg. If this 
value is applied to the total exports for that year, the number of tusks 
exported would have been 2563, however it. is quite possible that the 
illegal shipments were of tusks of smaller average weight. This number of 
tusks represents 1363 elephants. 

Private Trophy shipments 

According to the Tanzanian 1982 annual report to CITES 226 tusks weighing 
5071 kg were exported as private hunting trophies in that year. The mean 
weight of these tusks was 22.4 kg and probably represents a total of 120 
elephants. The number of tusks exported in 1983 was not reported but the 
total weight was 5007 kg, very similar to that in 1982. If the mean weight 
for 1982 is used to estimate the number of tusks involved in 1983, this 
gives a total of 223 tusks, equivalent to 119 elephants. It would thus 
appear that private trophy hunters account for about 120 elephants 
annually in Tanzania and that the trophy tusks weigh over 20 kg each on 


According to the Chief Game Warden, Uganda has a complete ban on the 
hunting of game animals and thus does not export raw ivory. Any ivory 
picked up by the National Parks Department is sold to the country's only 
ivory carving craft shop. 

Despite this, 7891 kg of ivory, reputedly of Ugandan origin, was recorded 
in Japan's Customs statistics in 1982 and a further 11 799 kg was reported 
in 1983. No further details are available regarding the number of tusks 
involved or their sizes. MITI reported that 7203 kg came via Belgium in 
1982 and 9796 kg in 1983 and it is possible that these shipments were the 
result of poaching in Uganda. 

However in August 1984 the situation altered dramatically - Japan's 
Customs statistics for that month record the import of 20 277 kg of ivory 
from Uganda. This was followed by 17 706 kg in September, 18 550 kg in 
October and 42 787 kg in December which brought the total for the year to 


99 320 kg. Martin (1985) has estimated the elephant population of Uganda 
to be around 2000 animals so this near 100 t is unlikely to have 
originated there. 

In August 1984 a group of Japanese ivory importers undertook to stop 
importing ivory from Burundi and Zaire and it is perhaps significant that 
the Japanese Customs statistics show no imports from Burundi after July 
1984, when 27 t were imported, but massive imports apparently from Uganda. 
It seems likely that the source of this ivory was the same as that 
previously reported as coming from Burundi and that the Sudanese ban on 
exports and re-exports of raw ivory had forced the trade to find new 



No information has been received from Angola and the only reported trade 
is of eight tusks, probably hunting trophies, imported into the USA and 
one each by France and Switzerland in 1983. 


No information has been received from Botswana, so export of raw ivory has 
been estimated from imports reported. In 1983 Japan imported 1222 kg of 
ivory from Botswana according to Customs statistics. Hong Kong reported 
importing 52 tusks weighing 342 kg and the UK reported importing 32 tusks 
weighing 444 kg. The number of tusks was not reported by Japan but the 
average weight of those imported by Hong Kong and the UK was 9.3 kg. The 
USA reported importing 315 kg and 50 tusks from Botswana in 1983. 

In 1984 Hong Kong reported importing 482 tusks of Botswana origin via 
South Africa, the average weight being 8.5 kg per tusk. Hong Kong also 
reported importing tusks from the UK and Japan that originated in Botswana 
but it is almost certain that these were part of the 1983 imports by those 

It is interesting to note that if the 276 tusks imported by Hong Kong from 
Japan in 1984 were part of the 1222 kg imported by Japan in 1983 then 
their mean weight of 3.5 kg implies that only a few very large tusks were 
retained in Japan, and that the average weight of the tusks in the 
Japanese import could not have been in excess of 4.5 kg. 

Thus estimated export from Botswana was about 2.5 t in 1983 and 4 t in 
1984. The average tusk weight in 1984 was 8.5 kg and in 1983 was 9.3 kg if 
data from Hong Kong and the UK alone are used. If the Japanese import is 
included in the calculation the average tusk weight may have been as low 
as 5.3 kg in 1983. 


No information has been received from Malawi and the only raw ivory 
reported in trade by importing countries was 20 tusks weighing 430 kg that 
Hong Kong imported and subsequently re-exported to Japan, in 1983. Martin 
(1985) reports that virtually all ivory in Malawi is carved locally and 
trade statistics confirm this. 


The CITES Management Authority of Mozambique has informed WIMU that there 
has been no commercial ivory trade in that country for the last two years. 
There has been one recorded export of two tusks weighing 13 kg each going 
to Italy as hunting trophies. However, South Africa reported exporting 14 
tusks weighing 160 kg to the USA in 1984 but there is no indication as to 
when these tusks were imported by South Africa. 


Namibia reported exporting 247 tusks weighing 1320 kg in 1983 and 688 
tusks weighing 2924 kg in 1984. All but three of the tusks exported in 
1984 went originally to South Africa, but it is reported that 48 weighing 
211 kg were then re-exported to Portugal. The average tusk weights were 
5.3 kg in 1983 and 4.3 kg in 1984. 


Estimation of the precise amount of South African ivory in trade is 
complicated by the Customs Union which means that ivory from Botswana, 
SWA/Namibia and Zimbabwe passes through South Africa and its precise 
origin is not always correctly reported. 

South Africa's CITES Management Authority reported exporting 688 tusks 
weighing 6402 kg in 1983 whose origin was stated to be South Africa, and 
another 392 tusks weighing 1933 kg of different origin. However, importing 
countries report rather more than this. Japanese Customs data show imports 
of 12 050 kg during 1983. A large proportion of this was re-exports from 
Hong Kong and has been discounted from the calculation of total export, 
however data provided by MITI indicate that 1938 kg were imported via 
Belgium and this quantity has been included although it may have left 
South Africa before 1983. Hong Kong reported importing 2195 tusks weighing 
12 385 kg directly from South Africa, the USA reported importing 1800 kg 
and information from the trade suggests that at least 55 tusks weighing 
1039 kg were imported by the UK. This information from importing countries 
suggests that South Africa's true exports in 1983 were at least 17 t with 
an average tusk weight of 6 kg. In addition it appears that at least 
another 20 t of ivory from neighbouring countries in the Customs Union 
were re-exported by South Africa. 

South Africa reports exporting 948 tusks weighing 12 481 kg in 1984 of 
which 8051 kg was reported as going to Japan. This quantity plus Hong 
Kong's re-exports of 7519 kg of South African ivory to Japan closely match 
the 15 541 kg reported by Japanese Customs statistics. Hong Kong reported 
importing 1858 tusks weighing 13 099 kg in 1984 directly from South Africa, 
one UK trader imported 38 tusks weighing 1016 kg and US Customs statistics 
record 1413 kg imported from South Africa in the year up to November. 

This suggests a total of at least 23.5 t coming from South Africa during 
1984, with an average tusk weight estimated to be 7.4 kg. At least 5 t of 
this total was exported from South Africa in 1983 but did not arrive in 
Hong Kong until January 1984. This quantity should therefore be added to 
the total for 1983. However, it is not known how many of the imports 
reported for 1983 were 1982 exports, but if it were assumed that this was 
at least 2 t (reported by Hong Kong as being imported in January 1983) 
then annual totals were 20 t in 1983 and 18 t in 1984. 


Private trophy shipments 

In 1983 63 tusks were exported as private trophies, mainly to Europe and 
North America. Tusk weights were recorded for 37 of these and indicate an 
average tusk weight of 11.2 kg per tusk. In 1984 114 trophy tusks were 
exported, again mainly to Europe and North America. Weights were reported 
for 68 tusks which had an average weight of 9.9 kg. 


No data are available from Zambia concerning commercial exports of ivory 
during 1983. However, information received from one ivory trader indicates 
that he imported over 10 t of ivory into Europe from Zambia during 1983 
and 1984 and re-exported it to Japan and Hong Kong. CITES data from Japan 
and Hong Kong record the same quantity being imported in 1983, the ivory 
going to Japan being reported as a re-export from Belgium and that to Hong 
Kong as a direct import from Zambia. If this were indeed the same ivory it 
is interesting to note that the trader imported 1925 tusks with an average 
weight of 5.3 kg and Hong Kong imported 1761 tusks averaging 4.2 kg. This 
suggests that the 2803 kg imported by Japan averaged 17.1 kg per tusk, and 
that shipments from Africa were being split up in Europe - the smaller 
tusks going to Hong Kong and the larger to Japan. 

The UK draft annual report to CITES for 1983 records imports totalling 
5499 kg from Zambia, and information from the trade suggests that another 
723 kg may have been imported. Hong Kong also reported importing Zambian 
ivory from South Africa in 1983, but this almost certainly left South 
Africa in 1982. Total exports from Zambia during 1983 may therefore have 
been in the region of 16 t and the available data suggest an average tusk 
weight of about 6 kg. 

In 1984 Zambia offered 1900 kg for sale, and Zambian export permit books 
showed exports of 577 tusks weighing 1816 kg (R. Martin, in litt.) which 
represents an average tusk weight of 3.2 kg. Hong Kong reported importing 
47 tusks weighing 673 kg and Japanese Customs data record an import during 
September of 1729 kg from Zambia. However, in October 1984 a shipment of 
about 375 tusks weighing approximately 1500 kg was observed being imported 
into Burundi via Lake Tanganyika. The boat used for this action reputedly 
came from Zambia, so it is probable that the ivory did also. Total exports 
from Zambia during 1984 would appear to have been around 4 t but it is 
impossible to determine the true scale of illegal trade. 

Information from Dr Martin indicates that approximately 12 t of ivory are 
held in store in Zambia. é 


The Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management reports 
that during 1983 a total of 2550 tusks weighing 8625 kg were sold for 
export. Of these 1871 tusks went to South Africa, 663 tusks went (0 
F.R.Germany and 16 tusks went to Hong Kong. The average tusk weight was 
3.38 kg and approximately 1500 elephants were involved. Hong Kong reported 
importing a further 24 tusks weighing 475 kg from Zimbabwe during that 
year but these were originally exported in 1982. 


In 1984 a total of 1786 tusks weighing 9250 kg were exported, 1081 tusks 
going to South Africa and 705 tusks to Japan. The average weight of the 
tusks was 5.2 kg and represents approximately 1051 elephants. It should be 
noted that the figure of 1.7 tusks per elephant has been used in these 
estimates of elephant numbers as culling operations in Zimbabwe include 
infant elephants. 

Private trophy shipments 

In 1983 Zimbabwe exported 453 tusks weighing 4946 kg as private hunting 
trophies, mainly to South Africa, Europe and North America. This suggests 
that about 241 elephants with an average tusk weight of 10.9 kg were 
involved. In 1984 the number of trophies exported increased to 578 tusks 
weighing 5990 kg, thus involving about 307 elephants with an average tusk 
weight of 10.4 kg. 

Zimbabwe exported about 9 t of raw ivory in both 1983 and 1984 for the 
ivory trade. These commercial exports had a very low average tusk weight 
and reflect the effect of culling operations. Data for both commercial 
shipments and hunting trophies suggest that about 1741 elephants were 
involved in 1983 and approximately 1358 in 1984. However in addition to 
the ivory exported, Zimbabwe has a flourishing ivory carving industry 
which uses an estimated 14 to 15 t of ivory annually (Martin, 1984). 


Section 2 

From the 1983 CITES statistics, it appears that there are only twelve 
countries that have imported more than 1 t of tusks in 1983: Hong Kong, 
Japan, Belgium, Federal Republic of Germany, People's Republic of China, 
India, United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Taiwan, Italy and 
Thailand. We have therefore selected these for further consideration. It 
should be pointed out that these statistics indicate that the volume of 
world trade in tusks in 1983 amounted to at least 761 t plus a possible 
maximum of 8440 tusks (if none of them were included in the amount 
reported by weight), or (assuming a low 6 kg a tusk on average) 812 t of 
ivory tusks, 

This does not necessarily represent the quantity that left Africa during 
the year, because large quantities have been held in store, in some cases 
for more than a year, and because some 1982 exports from Africa may not 
appear in trade statistics until 1983 when reported by an importing 
country. However, this does mean that an import of 1 t represents only 
about 0.1% of the recorded world trade volume. Therefore the listing of 
the above countries does not imply any significance in the world trade. 

In consideration of the CITES statistics, except where otherwise 
specified, trade in scraps and pieces has been ignored; where recorded by 
number these data are useless for monitoring purposes. Where there is a 
likelihood of overlap between shipments recorded by number of tusks and 
those recorded by weight, the record by number has been ignored to avoid 
double counting. It should therefore be appreciated that the resulting 
estimates may be too low. 

As the largest market for raw ivory, Hong Kong and Japan are considered 
first, the other main importers being treated in alphabetical order. 


The ivory carving industries of Hong Kong and Japan are the destination of 
most of Africa's ivory production. Trading between the two countries is 
heavy, and in general larger tusks go from Hong Kong to Japan and smaller 
ones from Japan to Kong Kong. The ivory trade of these countries during 
1983 was the subject of a study carried out by WTMU on behalf of the CITES 
Technical Committee in 1984, and this section of the present report 
supplements the information in the earlier report. The data available to 
WIMU were:- Hong Kong 1984 statistics provided by the Hong Kong CITES 
Management Authority, Japanese statistics for January to June 1984 
provided by the Japanese CITES Management Authority and Japanese Customs 
statistics of Elephant's tusks, including waste and powder, for January to 
December 1984, 

Table 1 shows the origins of Hong Kong's gross imports of raw ivory from 
1981 to 1984. Trade data for 1981 to 1983 are taken from Caldwell (1984). 


Table 1 

Reported origin of gross imports of whole tusks (kg) by Hong Kong 1981-84 

COUNTRY 1981 1982 1983 1984 
eens ier ee oe Se ee Oe ee ee ee ed 
Botswana - 1185 342 4257 
CAR 75982 63096 186494 65956 
Congo 117882 61009 814 39291 
Cameroon 464 - - - 

Kenya 824 5854 - = 

Malawi = - 430 - 

Sudan 214187 219619 268677 25451 
Somalia 14000 7468 = = 

Chad 8232 29411 30976 6260 
Tanzania 2240 5073 545 4871 
Uganda 26740 1957 403 22389 
South Africa 6578 9801 15468 21596 
Zambia 8195 7628 9659 3686 
Zaire 8560 8921 40263 48038 
Zimbabwe - 72 1465 4421 
Africa (unspecified) 3340 25194 2318 2694 
Total 487224 446298 557854 248910 

It is clear from Table 1 that Hong Kong's ivory trade underwent a dramatic 
change in 1984. Gross imports fell by 55% of their 1983 level and the 
total was the lowest recorded since Hong Kong began reporting to CITES in 
1978. The greatest difference between 1983 and 1984 is the quantity 
reported to have been imported from Sudan. This fell from 269 t to 25 t 
and clearly reflects Sudan's ban on exports. Imports from CAR also fell by 
120 t and those from Chad from 31 t to 6 t which may reflect the reduced 
quantities leaving those countries in 1984, The decline is also partly due 
to Belgium implementing stricter control measures after ratifying CITES. 

Japan's gross imports do not show a similar decline. Customs statistics 
for 1984 record the import of 473 782 kg, only 2 t less than the record 
import of 475 t imported in 1983. Large amounts of CAR and 'Sudanese’' 
ivory that left Belgium in late 1983 were imported during January and 
February and then imports fell to a low of 11.6 t in April. However by 
June the trade appears to have recovered from the combined effects of the 
export ban in Sudan and the stricter control measures in Belgium, and the 
second half of the year shows large quantities of ivory reported to be 
coming from Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. Japan's gross imports are shown 
in Table 2. 


Table 2 

Japanese imports of elephant tusks, including waste and powder 1984 

Taiwan 1740 kg 
Burma 407 kg 
Sudan 60282 kg 
Chad 3156 kg 
CAR 100744 kg 
Congo 75799 kg 
Zaire 49827 kg 
Burundi 33118 kg 
Somalia 7247 kg 
Uganda 99320 kg 
Tanzania 19932 kg 
Zimbabwe 4217 kg 
Namibia 723 kg 
South Africa 15541 kg 
Zambia 1729 kg 
Total 473/82 keg 

Total imports by Japan and Hong Kong combined (excluding those from each 
other) were about 755 t in 1983 and fell to 501 t in 1984. Analysis of the 
data by the method used previously (Caldwell, 1984) suggests that about 
71 619 tusks were involved during 1984 and that the’ average tusk weight 
was 7 kg. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 3. 

Table 3 

Import of raw tusks by Hong Kong and Japan corrected to eliminate double-counting 

1981 1982 1983 1984 

Weight (t) 371.3 300.6 344.6 256.2 413.7 341.2 193.7 307.1 
Total 671.9 600.7 754.8 500.8 
No. of 
tusks 76865 21345* 77392 26411* 91978 35067% 42455 29164* 
Total 98210 103803 127045 71619 
Mean tusk 
weight (kg) 4.83 14.08 4.45 9.70 4.51 9.73 4.56 10.53 
HK+JP combined 6.8 5.8 5.9 7.0 
No. of 
elephants 40886 11354 41165 14048 48829 18653 22582 15513 
HK+JP Total 52240 55213 67482 38095 
world total 62939 66524 81303 45896 

on basis of 
HK + JP = 83% 

*Estimated on the basis of the average weight of tusks re-exported by Hong Kong to 


For 1984 however it is possible to estimate the number of tusks involved 
in the trade using the average tusk weights derived from Japan's imports 
reported by MITI for the first six months of the year. 

Japan's total import for 1984, less the tusks and scraps from Hong Kong 
and the ivory from Burma, amounts to 415 502 kg. If we assume that the 
average tusk weight for the year was the same as during the first six 
months (7.72 kg) the number of tusks imported by Japan would have been 
53 822. Hong Kong only imported 85 326 kg (13 179 tusks) that did not pass 
through Japan. Thus the total import in 1984 of Japan and Hong Kong 
combined is estimated to have been 67 001 tusks weighing 500 828 kg. This 
produces an average tusk weight of 7.47 kg and suggests that 35 639 
elephants were involved. 

In addition to whole tusks, Hong Kong imports a considerable quantity of 
ivory scraps and cut pieces. This amounted to 100 t in 1983 and 125 t in 
1984, however most of this was imported from Japan and does not increase 
the estimated amount of ivory reaching the Far East. 

Hong Kong's re-exports in 1984 amounted to 99 t, the bulk being composed 
of whole tusks going to Japan and India with average weight of 10.5 kg and 
4.5 kg respectively. The details are given in Table 4. Japan only reports 
re-exports to Hong Kong in both 1983 and the first six months of 1984. 

Table 4 
Hong Kong's reported re-exports of raw ivory in 1984 
Destination Weight of Tusks Weight of Scraps Total 
China 2765 9279 12044 
India 9543 = 9543 
Japan 55180 2693 57873 
Thailand 1645 1491 3136 
Taiwan 3516 12640 16156 
USA 147 70 217 
F.R.Germany - 7 7 
Macau = 20 20 
Mexico = 143 143 
Singapore = 115 115 

Total 72796 26458 99254 


Because of its historical connections with Central Africa, Belgium has 
long played a leading role as a transit centre for ivory coming from 
Africa on its way to principal consumer countries. However, Belgium 
was not a Party to CITES until 1 January 1984; therefore, for all its 
importance, for 1983 we only know of its trade from reports of other 

Exports to Belgium in 1983 CITES annual reports totalled 80 550 kg of 
tusks plus 33 tusks, the bulk (80 245 kg = 99.6%) being from CAR. 
Imports of tusks from Belgium reported by other Parties that year 
amounted to 264 085 kg, 99.3% of this (262 376 kg) going to Japan. 
This supports the common knowledge that large quantities had been held 


in store in Belgium in previous years, but it may also be a result of 
large amounts being exported to Belgium but not being reported by the 
exporting country. 

The CITES Management Authority of Belgium has provided information on 
its raw ivory trade in 1984, to the CITES Secretariat. Imports in 1984 
totalled 3776 tusks weighing 48 858 kg, plus 2123 kg of cut pieces, 
all directly from African countries. Most of the tusks were imported 
from CAR (43 147 kg = 88%) including several tons (6847 kg) reported 
as originating from Zaire. However, Belgium's reported re-exports in 
1984 amounted to 6765 tusks, weighing 71 894 kg (all to Hong Kong and 
Japan) and 2425 kg of cut pieces. These records indicate that in 1984 
Belgium was again a net re-exporter, of over 23 t of raw ivory. 
Japan's reported imports from Belgium in the first six months of 1984 
amounted to 114 317 kg of tusks; Belgium only reports re-exporting 
35 356 kg to Japan over the year but the discrepancy can to a large 
extent be accounted for by shipments which left Belgium in 1983 and 
arrived in Japan the following year. Belgium's reported re-exports to 
Hong Kong and the reported imports of the latter appear to match 
almost exactly except for two shipments from Belgium which in fact 
went to Japan. 

From discussions with traders and government employees it seems that 

there are now unlikely to be large stocks of ivory remaining in 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for Belgium in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
CF 30 tusks 
CF 80245 kg tusks 
DE [ZA] 205 kg tusks 
GB [XX] 1 ivory piece 
GB [XX] 50 kg ivory scraps 
TZ 100 kg tusks 
ZM 3 tusks 



In the annual reports of CITES Parties, only Hong Kong reports 
re-exporting raw ivory to the People's Republic of China in 1983, an 
amount totalling 26 912 kg of tusks and 6314 kg of ivory scraps and 
pieces. In addition, South Africa has notified WIMU of the export to China 
in 1983 of 149 kg of ivory tusks or cut pieces. 

Information provided by the CITES Management Authority for Hong Kong 
indicates that in 1984 Hong Kong re-exported 124 tusks weighing 2765 kg to 
China and 9279 kg of cut pieces and scraps. These are the only data 
available on commercial exports to China in 1984. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for China in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
HK [BL] 20 kg ivory pieces 
HK [CF] 212 kg ivory pieces 
HK [CF] 22876 kg tusks 
HK [CG] 332 kg ivory pieces 
HK [CG] 39 kg tusks 
HK [SD] 1061 kg ivory pieces 
HK [SD] 2420 kg ivory scraps 
HK [SD] 2007 kg tusks 
HK [ZR] 2269 kg ivory pieces 
HK [ZR] 1990 kg tusks 

Hong Kong Re-exports of Whole Tusks to China 1984 

Origin Number Weight 
CAR 73 1841.9 
CAR 45 906.3 
CAR 22 o> 
Congo 4 9 
Total 124 2764.7 



CITES annual report statistics indicate that France imported at least 9 
tusks and 5774 kg of tusks in 1983, of which at least 5 tusks and 4440 keg 
came directly from African countries, and that only 27 tusks plus 40 kg 
were re-exported from France that year. There is no indication of the 
extent of France's trade in raw ivory in 1984, 

It is noteworthy that there are two major ivory dealers based in France. 

However, much of the ivory in which they deal does not enter France but 
passes through in transit or goes via Belgium to Hong Kong and Japan. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for France in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
AO 1 tusk 
AT 77 kg tusks 
BW 128 kg tusks 
CF 1705 kg tusks 446 kg tusks 
CG 938 tusks 
CG 225 kg tusks 
Cl 254 kg tusks 
CM 2 tusks 
CM 440 kg tusks 194 kg tusks 
DE [SD] 4 tusks 
DE [ZM] 36 kg tusks 
GA 131 kg tusks 
GB [BW] 8 kg ivory pieces 
GB [ BW } 37 kg tusks 
GB [CF] 2 kg ivory pieces 
GB [CF] 967 kg tusks (probable error) 
GB [TZ] 4 kg ivory pieces 
GB [TZ] 5 kg tusks 
GB [ XX] 1144 kg tusks 
GB [ZM] 48 ivory pieces 
GB [2M] 1 kg ivory piece 
GB [2M] 976 kg tusks 
IT [ XX] 27 kg tusks 
NG 15 kg tusks 
SD 250 kg tusks 
TG 2 tusks 4 tusks 
TN [CM] 74 kg tusks 
TZ 867 kg tusks 520 kg tusks 
XX [ GB] 77 kg tusks 
ZW 351 kg tusks 



CITES annual report statistics indicate that F.R.Germany was the 
destination of at least 33 059 kg of tusks plus 1002 tusks in 1983. All 
1002 tusks plus 24 472 kg (74% of the quantity recorded by weight) came 
directly from African countries, including 7463 kg (23% of the total) from 
Sudan. A large quantity of ivory scraps and pieces is also imported by 
Germany, amounting to at least 1532 kg in 1983, nearly all from the UK. 

There are few data available on the 1984 imports. The Government of Hong 
Kong reports an export to Germany of 7 kg of ivory scraps and pieces; 
South Africa exported 6 whole trophy tusks, and a UK trader has informed 
WTMU that he exported 1771 kg tusks and 2423 kg of offcuts to Germany. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for F.R. Germany in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
CM 40 kg tusks 
FR [SD] 2 tusks 
FR [SD] 40 kg tusks 
FR [TG] 2 tusks 
GB [CF] 6 kg ivory pieces 
GB [CF] 95 kg tusks 
GB [CM] 176 kg tusks 301 kg tusks 
GB [NA] 288 ivory pieces 
GB [NA] 120 kg ivory pieces 
GB [NA] 490 kg ivory scraps 200 kg ivory scraps 
GB [NA] 290 kg tusks 
GB [TZ] 1488 ivory pieces 
GB [TZ] 199 kg ivory pieces 
GB [TZ] 415 kg ivory scraps 80 kg ivory scraps 
GB [TZ] 3199 kg tusks 1257 kg tusks 
GB [XX] 1 ivory piece 
GB [XX] 54 kg tusks 
GB [ZA] 9532 ivory pieces 
GB [ZA] 235 kg ivory pieces 
GB [ZA] 423 kg ivory scraps 
GB [ZA] 623 kg tusks 
GB [ZM] 7132 ivory pieces 
GB [ZM] 155 kg ivory pieces 
GB [ZM] 200 kg ivory scraps 
GB [ZM] 525 kg tusks 
GB [ZW] 1000 tusks 
GB [ZW] 3016 kg tusks 3015 kg tusks 
HK [CF] 2046 kg tusks 2046 kg tusks 
HK [SD] 4 kg ivory pieces 
JP [XX] 216 ivory pieces 
NL [TD] 110 kg tusks 
SD 7463 kg tusks 
TG 2 tusks 
TZ 216 ivory pieces 
TZ 529 kg tusks 892 kg tusks 
ZA 13044 kg tusks 
ZW 3033 kg tusks 



CITES annual report statistics for 1983 indicate that India was the 
destination of at least 14 332 kg of ivory tusks that year (see below). 
Only 82 kg of this (0.6%) came directly from African sources. India is an 
ivory carving centre and the world's second net exporter of ivory 
carvings. In 1983 it exported at least 12 582 kg of worked ivory, 
according to CITES annual report statistics, which is of the same order of 
magnitude as the previous two years and may suggest the level of future 
demand for the raw material. 

India's sources of tusks in 1983 were Hong Kong and the UK. In 1984 Hong 
Kong exported 2108 tusks, weighing 9543 kg to India and a major UK trader 
re-exported 1555 kg, which is likely to form the bulk coming from this 
country. Thus the total known supply of raw ivory to India in 1984 was at 
least 11 098 kg of tusks. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for India in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
DE [TZ] 500 kg tusks 138 kg tusks 
GB [CM] 94 kg tusks 
GB [TZ] 591 kg tusks 1241 kg tusks 
GB [ZM] 682 kg tusks 1170 kg tusks 
GB [ZW] 228 kg tusks 734 kg tusks 
HK [ CF ] 2268 kg tusks 6517 kg tusks 
HK [CG] 1422 kg tusks 1217 kg tusks 
HK [SD] 1165 kg tusks 434 kg tusks 
HK [SO] 685 kg tusks 1232 kg tusks 
HK [TD] 404 kg tusks 1004 kg tusks 
HK [ZR] 107 kg tusks 
TZ 82 kg tusks 



CITES annual report statistics indicate that Italy imported at least 11 
tusks plus 4240 kg of tusks in 1983, of which the 11 tusks and 4086 kg 
were imported directly from African countries. A small amount of raw ivory 
(6 tusks plus 27 kg) was re-exported in 1983. The ivory is likely to be 
used internally for the most part, and Italy is one of the world's major 
importers of worked ivory. 

We have no statistics relating to Italy's volume of raw ivory trade in 
& yy y 

1984, and it does not figure as a country of consignment in the data 
provided by Hong Kong and Japan. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for Italy in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
CF 77 kg tusks 1287 kg tusks 
CG 67 kg tusks 
one 3 kg tusks 
CM 4 tusks 
CM 157 kg tusks 
EG [XX] 2 kg tusks 
ET 11 kg tusks 
GB [ZA] 96 ivory pieces 
GB [ZM] 384 ivory pieces 
GH 15 kg tusks 
GQ 1 tusk 
HK [MZ ] 15 kg tusks 
HK [ZA] 99 kg tusks 
LR 2 kg tusks 
MW 1 kg tusk 
NG 4 tusks 
NG 14 kg tusks 
SA [XX] 9 kg tusks 
sD 4 tusks 
SN 1 kg tusk 
TH [XX] 1 kg tusk 
TZ 118 kg tusks 1347 kg tusks 
ZA 1222 kg tusks 
ZM 4 tusks 
ZM 2 kg tusks 
ZW 2 tusks 



The published Customs statistics of Taiwan (below) indicate that in 
1983 Taiwan imported 15 543 kg of raw ivory and 9678 kg from January 
to July 1984. The sources in 1984 are not recorded but in 1983 the 
main sources recorded were Congo, Central African Republic, Japan 
and South Africa, in that order. The import recorded from Japan 
compares well with Japan's CITES-reported re-export of 2955 kg of 
ivory scraps to Taiwan. However, the import reported from Hong Kong 
does not compare at all well with that country's data. Hong Kong's 
CITES statistics for 1983 record 4517 kg of tusks and 8581 kg of 
ivory pieces exported to Taiwan in 1983 and 3516 kg of whole tusks 
plus 12 640 kg of cut pieces and scraps in 1984. For 1983 this 
leaves a discrepancy between the two countries reports of 12 516 kg. 
Some of this might be accounted for by shipments in transit in 
Taiwan. However it is likely that much of what Hong Kong reports 
appears in Taiwan's statistics by country of origin. Supporting this 
idea, the figures on ivory from Tanzania match exactly (cf. tables 
below). On the other hand, some origins reported by Hong Kong do not 
appear at all in Taiwan's import figures, which may thus be thought 
to underestimate the volume of its trade. Moreover, the CITES 
statistics for 1983 appear to underestimate Taiwan's imports by 
about 10 t. 

If Taiwan has not reported imports from Hong Kong by country of 
origin, then Taiwan may have imported nearly 29 t of raw ivory in 
1983. The data for 1984 are insufficient. 

Taiwan's Imports of Raw Ivory 

1983 1984 (January to July) 
Source Weight Value Weight Value 
(kg) (NT$1000) (kg ) (NT$1000) 
CAR 4169 5859 
Congo 5352 7184 
Hong Kong 684 689 
Ivory Coast 104 139 
Japan 2492 2217 
South Africa 1662 2222 
Sudan 51 7a 
Tanzania 500 695 
USA 29 50 
Uganda 500 683 
Total 15543 19809 9678 12339 

Source: Statistical Department, Inspectorate General of Customs, Taipei. 






South Africa 




Wei ght (kg) 


Hong Kong Exports of Tusks to 




Wei ght (kg) 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for Taiwan in 1983 



Imports reported 


Exports reported 


ivory pieces 






The most recent Foreign Trade Statistics for Thailand (see below) record a 
total import of 5355 kg of unworked ivory from January to November 1983, 
59% of this (3146 kg) coming from Sudan. The next most important sources 
recorded were Zaire and Hong Kong. Thailand's 1983 import represents an 
increase over the total for 1982, which was 3921 kg for the full year (69% 
coming from Sudan). 

The only CITES statistics for 1983 relating to Thailand are 113 kg of 
ivory pieces reported as re-exports by F.R.Germany (which matches the 
Thailand data) and 2875 kg of tusks and 2276 kg of ivory pieces 
re-exported by Hong Kong. The latter is far greater than the Thailand data 
indicate. The discrepancy cannot be explained by assuming that Thailand 
was reporting the countries of origin of the imports from Hong Kong, 
although the quantity said to originate from Sudan (see below) could have 
been included in Thailand's record of Sudanese ivory. 

In 1984 Hong Kong reported exporting 70 tusks weighing a total of 1645 kg 
and 1491 kg of cut pieces and scraps to Thailand. 

On the basis of these data, if the records of Thailand and Hong Kong do 

not overlap, Thailand appears to have imported at least 9833 kg of raw 
ivory in 1983. The data for 1984 are insufficient. 

Thailand's Imports of Unworked Ivory 

1982 1983 (January to November) 

Source Weight Value Weight Value 

(kg) (Baht) (kg) (Baht) 
Burma 103 75700 “44 40450 
CAR 42 9098 
F.R.Germany 112 4941 
Hong Kong 112 145850 673 687497 
Mexico 654 180686 
Namibia ETD: 147554 
Burundi 128 175532 
Congo 203 264960 
South Africa 304 385174 
Sudan 2721 1323029 3146 1252637 
Sweden 115 25423 
Zaire 807 871594 
Total 3921 2165757 5355 3424368 

Source: Foreign Trade Statistics of Thailand, Department of Customs, 

Hong Kong Exports of Tusks to Thailand 

1983 1984 
Origin Weight (kg) |. Origin Weight (kg) 
CAR 990.84 CAR 914.42 
Sudan 1395.3 Sudan 486.2 
Chad 488.85 Zaire 244.22 
Total 2874.99 Total 1644.84 




CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for Thailand in 1983 



Imports reported 




ivory pieces 
ivory pieces 
ivory pieces 


Information provided by the UK CITES Management Authority indicates that 
the commercial imports of raw ivory totalled 10 557 kg of tusks plus 1509 
tusks in 1983 and 10 185 kg plus 600 tusks plus 7 pieces in 1984. (Records 
of 'pieces' were ignored in the 1983 data as being of uncertain status.) 
The CITES reports of exporting Parties underestimate the trade to the UK. 

However a major UK trader has informed WTMU that his imports of tusks in 
1983 totalled 13 388 kg (plus 203 kg of offcuts). 11 555 kg of this came 
directly from African countries. In 1984 the same trader imported 9924 kg of 
tusks (plus 440 kg of offcuts), of which 1321 kg came from F.R.Germany and 
760 kg came from Belgium; the rest (7844 kg) came directly from African 

The UK also re-exports raw ivory and, according to CITES statistics, 
re-exported at least 13 124 kg of tusks plus 1006 tusks in 1983, making it 
a net exporter in that year. One UK trader re-exported 9343 kg (excluding 
offcuts) in 1984, and this is likely to form the bulk of UK re-exports in 
that year. 

1983 Imports to UK of Raw Ivory for Trade Purposes 

1984 Imports to UK of Tusks for Trade Purposes 


Origin Consignment Volume 
Botswana South Africa 15 kg 
Botswana South Africa 444 keg 
CAR Belgium 227 kg 
CAR Belgium 617 kg 
CAR Belgium 746 kg 
Malawi Malawi 2 tusks 
Nigeria Nigeria 1 tusk 
South Africa South Africa 388 kg 
South Africa South Africa 500 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 260 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 271 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 390 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 500 kg 
Zaire Zaire 5 tusks 
Zambia Zambia 2705 kg 
Zambia Zambia 2794 kg 
Zimbabwe South Africa 1500 tusks 
Unknown Sweden 1 tusk 
Total 10557 kg 
1509 tusks 

Origin Consignment Volume 
South Africa South Africa 440 kg 
South Africa South Africa 2250 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 5000 kg 
Tanzania Tanzania 600 tusks 
Uganda Uganda 7 pieces 
Zambia India 15 kg 
Zimbabwe South Africa 1000 kg 
Zimbabwe South Africa 1480 kg 
Total 10185 kg 

600 tusks 

7 pieces 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for United Kingdom in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
AE [XX] 1 tusk 
AO 5 ivory pieces 
AT [ XX ] 8 ivory pieces 
BE [CF] 1590 kg tusks 
BE [XX ] 1 ivory piece 
BW 8 ivory pieces 
BW 518 kg ivory pieces 
BW 700 kg tusks 
CA [ZA] 43 ivory pieces 
CG 2 tusks 
one 6 ivory pieces 
CM 6 ivory pieces 
CN [XX] 95 ivory pieces 
DE { XX] 44 ivory pieces 
ES [XX] 4 ivory pieces 
FR [SL] 1 tusk 
FR [ XX ] 37 ivory pieces 
FR [XX] 1 tusk 
GI [XX] 1 ivory piece 
HK [ XX] 72786 ivory pieces 
HK [ XX ] 3 kg ivory pieces 
HK [ZA] 2622 ivory pieces 
IN [XX] 925 ivory pieces 
IN [ XX] 20 kg ivory pieces 
IN [XX] 2 tusks 
IT [NG] 2 tusks 
JP [XX ] 7 ivory pieces 
KE 4 ivory pieces 
KE [TZ] 2 ivory pieces 
KE [UG] 20 ivory pieces 
MC [ XX ] 4 ivory pieces 
MO [ XX] 2 ivory pieces 
MW 86 ivory pieces 
MW 2 tusks 
NG 20 ivory pieces 
NG 19 tusk 
NG [XX] 3 tusks 
NZ [ XX] 2 ivory pieces 
SD 53 ivory pieces 
SE [XX] 1 tusk 
SG [XX] 34 ivory pieces 
TH [SD] 6460 ivory pieces 
TH [ XX ] 1975 ivory pieces 
TZ 152 ivory pieces 
TZ 1 kg ivory piece 
TZ 4 tusks 
TZ 1421 kg tusks 670 kg tusks 
US [XX] 8 ivory pieces 
US [XX] 1 tusk 
US [ZA] 1 tusk 
XX 8 kg ivory pieces 
XX 56 tusks 
ZA 30 ivory pieces 
ZA 812 kg ivory pieces 


CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for United Kingdom in 1983 (cont. ) 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
ZA 4 tusks 
ZA 888 kg tusks 
ZA [BW] 459 kg tusks 
ZA [NA] 150 kg ivory pieces 
ZA [XX] 2 tusks 
ZA [ZW] 570 kg ivory pieces 
ZA [ZW] 1500 tusks 
ZA [ZW] 1 tusk 
ZM 20 ivory pieces 
ZM 4 tusks 101 tusks 
2M 5499 kg tusks 
ZR 96 ivory pieces 
ZR 7 tusks 
ZW 60 ivory pieces 
ZW 7 tusks 
ZW [XX] 1 tusk 



CITES annual report statistics indicate that in 1983 the USA imported at 
least 5990 ivory tusks plus 7396 kg of tusks. Of this total, 653 tusks 
plus 6179 kg of tusks came directly from African countries, the bulk 
coming from South Africa, Zaire, Tanzania and CAR. 

US Customs statistics for January to November 1984 record a total import 
of 7551 kg of raw ivory, including 7258 kg (96%) coming from African 
countries. By far the largest proportion of this is recorded as from Zaire 
(5560 kg = 74% of total), which still has a ban on commercial exports. 
Data on exports supplied by the Government of South Africa are roughly in 
accord with those recorded by US Customs. 

CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for USA in 1983 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
AO 8 tusks 
BE [ZR] 263 lbs tusks 
BW 50 tusks 
BW 315 kg tusks 
BW [ZA] 375 lbs tusks 
CA 2 tusks 3 tusks 
CA [KE] 5 tusk 
CF 1095 kg tusks 103 kg tusks 
CG 1 tusk 
CH [XX] 2 tusks 
Cl [XX] 8 tusks 
CM 4 tusks 
CM 10 kg tusks 
DE [ZM] 2 tusks 
FR [CF] 2 tusks 
FR [SD] 4 tusks 
FR [XX] 9 tusks 
GA 3 tusks 
GB [BW] 139 kg tusks 
GB [BW] 306 lbs tusks 
GB [CF] 67 kg tusks 
GB [CF ] 149 lbs tusks 
GB [MW] 2 tusks 
GB [TZ] 28 lbs tusks 28 lbs tusks 
GB [XX] 139 kg ivory pieces 
GB [XX] 2 tusks 
GB [ZA] 48 ivory pieces 
GB [ZA] 175 lbs ivory pieces 
GB [ZA] 175 1bs tusks 
HK [CF] 8 tusks 
HK [CF ] 26 kg tusks 
HK [KE] 32 kg ivory pieces 
HK [KE] 1 tusk 
HK [KE] 37 kg tusks 
HK [KE ] 30 lbs tusks 
HK [MZ] 1 kg tusk 
HK [MZ ] 2 lbs tusks 


CITES Records of Raw Ivory Destined for USA in 1983 (cont.) 

Exporter Origin Imports reported Exports reported 
HK [ZA } 5 tusks 
HK [ZM] 2 tusks 
HK [ZM] 9 kg tusks 
HK [ZR] 4938 tusks 
HK [ZR] 2 kg tusks 
HK [ZR] 1445 lbs tusks 
LR 2 tusks 
MA [XX] 2 tusks 
MW 2 tusks 
MX [KE] 2 tusks 
NA 2 tusks 
NG 6 tusks 
NG [XX] 2 tusks 
NO [ XX] 4 tusks 
SA [ZA] 6 kg tusks 
SA [2M] 4 tusks 
sD 22 tusks 
TH [XX] 1 tusk 
TZ 14 tusks 
TZ 293 kg tusks 1239 kg tusks 
TZ 298 lbs tusks 
US [ZR] 340 tusks 
XX 10 tusks 
XX [CF] 103 kg tusks 
XX [NG] 2 tusks 
XX [TZ] 2 tusks 
XX [2M] 1 tusk 
XX [ZM] 26 kg tusks 
ZA 50 tusks 
ZA 11 kg tusks 
ZA 1789 kg tusks 
ZA [ZW] 3 tusks 
ZA [ZW] 1000 kg tusks 
ZA [ZW] 31 lbs tusks 
ZM 81 lbs tusks 
ZR 314 tusks 
ZR 946 lbs tusks 
ZW 178 tusks 
ZW 70 kg tusks 



Recent changes in the trade 

The complexities of the ivory trade make the estimation of total ivory 
production by Africa very difficult to determine. It has become apparent 
during the production of this report that any study based on data provided 
the importing countries will not necessarily reflect the current situation 
regarding exports from Africa. In addition it must be remembered that the 
amount of raw ivory exported is not in itself an absolute measure of the 
number of elephants killed. Several African countries have carving 
industries which utilize locally obtained ivory. 

The current study was limited to trade in 1983 and 1984 so few data were 
available from African countries that related to earlier years. From the 
available evidence it appears that around 644 t of ivory left Africa in 
1983 and about 357 t in 1984 (see Table 5). This latter figure is perhaps 
50 t or more short of the true figure for 1984 as no account has been 
taken of ivory leaving Burundi towards the end of the year that has not 
yet appeared in importing country's trade statistics. Thus real exports 
from Africa in 1984 were more likely to have been between 410 t and 450 t. 
It is possible that in all the foregoing the figures for 1983 exports are 
overestimates as some ivory that left Africa in 1982 may not have been 

Japan and Hong Kong between them imported 755 t in 1983 and 501 t in 1984 
and other importing counties would have accounted for perhaps as much as 
another 100 t in each year. Thus during the two year period there appears 
to be a discrepancy of about 450 t between exports and imports. One 
possible explanation of this difference is that very large quantities of 
ivory left Africa in 1981 and 1982 and were held in store, probably in 
Belgium, before reaching their end markets. This appears to have been the 

case regarding exports from CAR - over 200 t was reported as being 
exported in 1982 but only about half this amount appeared in import 
figures - and it seems likely that a similar situation occurred for ivory 

leaving Sudan and Burundi. This does imply that well over 1000 t of raw 
ivory left Africa in 1982. 


Table 5 

Estimated weight (t) of raw ivory exported from Africa 1983 - 1984 
Country 1983 1984 
Chad 31 4.5 
CAR 101 42 
Congo 14 21 
Zaire 270 195 
Sudan 150 23 
Somalia 7 = 
Kenya 1 = 
Tanzania 10 32 
Zambia 16 4 
Malawi 0.5 - 
Zimbabwe 9 10 
Botswana DS 4 
Uganda it = 
Namibia iL 3 
South Africa 20 18 
Total 644 3565 

Two events caused the ivory trade to undergo a change between 1983 and 
1984, These were the ban on exports of raw ivory introduced by Sudan, and 
the introduction of stricter control measures by Belgium after that 
country ratified CITES. The export ban appears to have been effective and 
what little ivory left Sudan in 1984 was sold for export during 1983. The 
ban greatly affected Hong Kong's imports because Sudan had previously 
been that country's major supplier. One of the differences between the 
import policies of Japan and Hong Kong was that Japanese legislation 
allowed import of ivory solely on the basis of a country of origin 
certificate, whereas Hong Kong requires a CITES export or re-export 
certificate. Thus with Sudan closed down and CAR trying to reduce the 
level of exports the main outlet for illegally acquired ivory became 
Burundi once again. It was possible to ship ivory from Burundi into Japan 
but not directly to Hong Kong which explains why Japan's imports show no 
difference in quantity between 1983 and 1984 but Hong Kong's imports fell 
by 55%. 

The effect of the altered situation in Belgium is less easy to, assess but 
it appears that the large stocks of ivory were run down during 1983 and 
1984, Belgium appearing as a net re-exporter for 1984. As a result of 
these changes in Belgium the trade needed a new transit port outside 
Africa. Most of the ivory leaving Burundi appears to have gone firstly to 

Singapore and ivory from Tanzania appears to have been routed through 

Overall, therefore, the traders in Hong Kong have been affected more 
severely than those in Japan and imports from Japan formed almost 66% of 
Hong Kong's total imports of raw tusks in 1984. 


Average tusk weight 

Measurement of the average weight of tusks in trade provides a basis for 
computing the effect that trade is having on elephant populations and 
indicates which age and size classes of elephant are being killed. 
However estimation of average tusk weight from trade data is made 
difficult both by the paucity of data available and by the complicated 
mature of the trade itself. 

Unfortunately average tusk weights cannot be reliably calculated using 
the data provided by the exporting countries in Africa because in the 
past these have been too few and because the falsification of permits has 
allowed exports far larger than may be recorded by the appropriate CITES 
Management Authorities (see Congo section). 

Given the importance of Belgium as a transit port for trade between 
Africa and the Far East, and where sorting of shipments has taken place, 
the average weight of tusks imported and re-exported is obviously worth 
consideration. These are shown in Tables 6 and 7. However much of the 
illegal trade stopped being routed through Belgium in 1984 so that the 
import data will not be representative of the pattern in previous years, 
Belgium's re-exports for 1984 provide a larger sample than its imports 
but the average tusk weight is affected by imports in previous years. 

Table 6 
Average tusk weights based on imports by Belgium in 1984 
Country of Number of Tusk Mean weight 
Origin Tusks Weight (kg) per tusk (kg) 
Botswana 6 71 11.83 
2316 36660 15.82 
Sudan 281 1872 6.66 
579 2489 4,29 
Tanzania 129 127.9 9.91 
Zaire 426 6487 i) 6222 
Sc ee 
Total 3737 48858 13.07 

Table 7 
Average tusk weights based on re-exports from Belgium in 1984 

Country of Number of Tusk Mean weight 
Origin Tusks Weight (kg) per tusk (kg) 
Botswana 6 Yak 11.83 
CAR 2416 38399 15.89 
Sudan 3248 23028 7.08 
Chad 579 2539 4.38 
Tanzania 68 595 8.75 
Zaire 426 6412 15.05 
South Africa 22 850 38.63 
ere te 
Total 6765 71894 10.62 

re ee 


It is well known that the size of tusks that Hong Kong re-exports to Japan 
is larger than the average size of those they import and also that Japan 
re-exports its small tusks to Hong Kong. Furthermore, shipments of ivory 
may be sorted into larger and smaller tusks in Europe before re-export to 
the Far East. Thus analysis of average tusk weights imported by either of 
the major importers alone will greatly bias the result. In Japan's 1982 
and 1983 annual reports to CITES only the weight of ivory imported was 
reported and not the numbers of tusks involved. So in previous studies of 
the trade, carried out by WIMU (WTMU, 1983; Caldwell, 1984), the average 
weight of tusks imported by Japan has been estimated on the assumption 
that it would be equivalent to the average weight of the tusks re-exported 
to Japan by Hong Kong. This has nonetheless tended to give a lower average 
weight than that suggested by Parker and Martin (1983) who based their 
estimate of Japan's imports on information supplied by Japanese traders. 
If we treat Hong Kong's 1984 data as outlined above, the average weight of 
Kong Kong's imports less the re-exports to Japan appears as 4.6 kg and the 
re-exports to Japan as 10.5 kg. 

However MITI have, for the first time, provided tusk numbers as well as 
weight for Japan's imports during the first six months of 1984, and it is 
therefore possible to estimate the average weight of Japan's imports more 
precisely. In order to obtain average tusk weight therefore, the Japanese 
import data for the first six months of 1984 and the Hong Kong import data 
for the same period were used and any trade between the two countries was 
discounted. It is appreciated that there may still be biases caused by 
sorting at the point of export or re-export but, as the combined imports 
of Japan and Hong Kong span the full range of tusk weights and account for 
around ninety per cent of the ivory leaving Africa, any such bias should 
be negligible. As much of the ivory imported by Japan and Hong Kong comes 
via Belgium and includes tusks from elephants that died several years 
previously, the overall average tusk weight does not necessarily reflect 
the current status of wild populations. 

Table 8 
Average tusk weights based on imports by Japan and Hong Kong 
January - June 
Country of Number of Tusk Mean weight 
Origin Tusks Weight (kg) per tusk (kg) 

Botswana 345 3208 . 30 9.29 
CAR 9008 68824.30 » 7.64 
Congo 4758 30519.20 6.41 
Sudan 3882 © 26256 .90 6.76 
Chad 447 1533 3.42 
Tanzania 30 167.5 5.58 
Somalia 1170 7500 6.41 
South Africa 2258 19724.20 8.73 
Zaire 3618 32135.15 8.88 
Zimbabwe 1831 6681.65 3.64 
Total 27347 196550.20 7.18 


Japanese imports in the first six months, other than from Hong Kong were 
20 678 tusks weighing 159 833 kg which gives an average weight of 7.7 kg. 
This is much lower than has been estimated for Japan in the past. Hong 
Kong's imports over the same period, excluding those from Japan, were 6669 
tusks weighing 36 717 kg, an average of 5.5 kg per tusk. The average tusk 
weights from Japan and Hong Kong combined are shown in Table 8. 

Thus the average weight per tusk, estimated from information provided by 
Japan and Hong Kong, is about 7.2 kg. However due to the lack of 
information about tusks imported by Japan in the second half of 1984, 
particularly those reported to be from Uganda, there is no guarantee that 
this figure is correct for the whole year. It should be stressed that, as 
this figure was calculated by a different technique to that used in 
earlier reports (WIMU, 1983; Caldwell, 1984) it is not directly comparable 
to the estimations for previous years. 

If the average tusk weight of Japan's first six months trade is applied to 
its imports (from Customs data) over the whole year, the overall average 
tusk weight for Japan and Hong Kong is increased to 7.47 kg. However, the 
production of this figure introduces added uncertainty by the assumption 
of constant average tusk weight, and we recommend the use of 7.2 kg. 

(n.b. but see addendum below) 


Falsification and forgery of documents is common practice in the ivory 
trade within some African countries and the CITES Secretariat's files 
contain many examples of permits that have been queried, particularly by 
the Hong Kong Management Authority. Such falsification often conceals the 
true origin of ivory in trade and, as mentioned previously, severely 
hampers estimation of realistic average tusk weights. In addition, it 
deprives African countries of the full revenue from ivory exports. During 
1984 the authorities in both CAR and Congo took action against traders who 
were involved in such activities. 



Barzdo, Jonathan. 1984: The Worked Ivory Trade. Traffic Bulletin 
Vol. VI, No. 2. 

Caldwell, J.R. 1984: Recent Developments in the Raw Ivory Trade of 
Hong Kong and Japan. Traffic Bulletin Vol. VI, No. 2. 

Froment, J-M. 1984: L'exploitation des Eléphants, Aménagement de la 
Faune République Centrafricaine, FAO report CAF//8/006. 

Martin, E. 1984: Zimbabwe's Ivory Carving Industry, Traffic Bulletin 
Wilks Wits “Nos “Ze 

Martin, R. 1985: Establishment of\ African Ivory Export Quotas and 
Associated Control Procedures, A freport prepared for the CITES 

Secretariat, Unpublished. 

Parker, I.S.C. and Martin, E. 1982: How Many Elephants are Killed for 
the Ivory Trade? Oryx Vol. XVI, No. 3. 

Parker, I.S.C. and Martin, E. 1983: Further Insight into the Ivory 
Trade. Oryx Vol. XVII, No. 4. 

WIMU. 1983: The Hong Kong and Japanese Trade in Unworked Ivory 1979 - 
1982. Traffic Bulletin Vol. V, No. l. 


Average tusk weights 

After completion of this report, further information was received from the 
Management Authority of Japan which covered Japan's imports of raw ivory for 
the period July - December 1984. This has enabled us to recalculate the 
average weight of tusks imported by Hong Kong and Japan during 1984 using a 
much larger sample size. Table 8 has been updated and is presented below. 

Table 8 (revised) 

Average tusk weights based on imports by Japan and Hong Kong 


Country of Number of Tusk Mean weight 
Origin Tusks Weight (kg) per tusk (kg) 
Burundi 630 3790.00 6.01 
Botswana 35) 3279.30 9.34 
CAR 10963 98276 .50 8.96 
Chad 1472 5305.10 3.60 
Congo 11051 63367 .00 5.73 
Namibia 67 313.30 4.67 
Somalia 1170 7500.00 6.41 
South Africa 4299 29191.40 6.79 
Sudan 5574 42139.34 Yoo) 
Tanzania 2769 17420.10 6.29 
Uganda 5347 14418 .70 2.69 
Zaire 4283 40536.91 9.46 
Zambia 47 673.00 14.31 
Zimbabwe 1541 7516.85 4.87 
Africa (unspecified) 2884 17469 .90 6.05 
Total 52,448 351,197.40 6.69 

Thus the average weight of tusks in 351 t of raw ivory imported by Japan and 
Hong Kong in 1984 was 6.69 kg, 0.5 kg less than was suggested by data for the 
first six months of the year. Although Japan reported importing at least 
another 68 t for which tusk weights were not available, it is unlikely that 
these would increase the average weight as the mean tusk weights of shipments 
from the same sources were generally below 6 kg. 


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